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Program evaluation is the use of social research methods

Program evaluation is the use of social research methods and techniques to analyze public programs. It is a relatively young discipline and came into its own most notably in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The analyses of social  initiatives in the context of America’s war on poverty were among the earliest studies conducted in evaluation.

Today, most government agencies have institutionalized this capability both at the federal, state, and local levels. Internationally, foundations and international organizations fund non-governmental organizations (NGOs) not only to deliver public goods and services to developing countries but also to evaluate results of these programs to determine whether these programs work.

Domestic and international applications have predominantly been in the areas of economic development, health, education, welfare, public management, and governance. The practice of evaluation, with its emphasis on accountability and transparency has become part of the modern methodological toolkit of the public administration specialist and public policy analyst. For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources and consider how you might use  evaluation in your future professional role.

Post a description of your experience and interests in evaluation. If you have no experience with evaluation, explain your understanding of evaluation. Next, explain what type of evaluation is most consistent with your interests and experience (necessity for the ,  improvement,  continuation/dissemination, or accountability) and why. Also, explain how you might use this type of  evaluation in your future professional role.


Westat, J. F. (Ed.). (2010). The 2010 user-friendly handbook for project evaluation. Retrieved from https://www.westat.com/sites/westat.com/files/2010UFHB.pdfNote: You only need to read Chapters 1–4 (pp. 3–51) of this handbook.
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. (2010). Themanager’s guide to evaluation (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: Author.The  Manager’s Guide to Evaluation. (2010). Retrieved from Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation Administration for Children and Families website: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/_managers_guide_to_eval2010.pdf Note: You only need to read the first three sections (pp. 1–16) of this guide: “Why Evaluate Your ?”, “What is  Evaluation?”, and “Who Should Conduct Your Evaluation?”
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (2014). Evaluation policy. Retrieved from http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/General-Information/Evaluation-Policy

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