What type of evaluation

While the language of evaluation can be confusing, there are generally considered to be three broad types of evaluations[1]Source: Adapted from Productivity Commission. 2019. Indigenous Evaluation Strategy, draft background paper, Table 2, and HM Treasury (UK). 2020. Magenta book: Central Government guidance on … Continue reading.

Evaluation typeWhen carried out?PurposeTypical questions
Process evaluation (aka formative)Early in the development or implementation of a policy or programTo understand the mechanisms at play, and to test assumptions. They can help improve a policy or program.How is the policy or program delivered?
Is it being delivered as intended?
Is it appropriately targeted?
How effective has implementation been so far?
What are the strengths and weaknesses?
Has the context influenced the delivery?
What can be learned?
Impact evaluation (aka summative or outcome)When the policy or program is matureTo judge the merit and impact of the policy or program. To learn lessons. To inform decisions about continuing, expanding, shrinking or stopping the policy or program.What difference did the policy or program make?
Has it achieved its objectives?
Has it improved outcomes?
How has it improved outcomes?
Did it affect different groups differently?
What can be learned?
Economic evaluationAt any timeTo quantify the value of policies and programs. To inform decisions.Was it worth it?
To whom did the benefits accrue? To whom did the costs accrue?
Is the policy or program the best use of resources?

 

References

References
1 Source: Adapted from Productivity Commission. 2019. Indigenous Evaluation Strategy, draft background paper, Table 2, and HM Treasury (UK). 2020. Magenta book: Central Government guidance on evaluation, Table 2.2.

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