What is Evaluation Research

Investigates social programs to see if they work

E.g. D.A.R.E. Program


Many are familiar with the DARE program, that is part of elementary education. It was meant to teach kids about drugs and alcohol and dissuade them from abusing drugs.

Evaluation Research

Related to a Quasi Experiments

Assess impact of social programs and policies

Different because the experiment delivered is the social program

e.g. Does Dare work?




Observation 1

Does child know about dangers of drugs/alcohol?

Observation 2

Does child know dangers?



Over time, we could have an Observation 3. By high school are those who went through DARE less likely to use drugs/alcohol compared to those who didn’t go through DARE.

Some Terminology

Inputs – resources, clients and staff that go into a program

Program process- complete treatment or service delivered by the program

Outputs – the services delivered or new products produced by the program process

Outcomes – the impact of the program process on the cases processed

Feedback – information about service delivery system outputs, outcomes, or operations that is available to any program inputs

Stakeholders – individuals and groups who have some basis of concern with the program


Good example of stakeholder mapping

by Suzan Last Technical Writing Essentials CC License

Stakeholder mapping is where one brainstorms all the different stakeholders for a program


4 Steps in Intervention design and delivery

Identify the problem

Take into account stakeholders

Do a needs assessment

Arrive at solution

Set goals and design the intervention

Implement the intervention

3 Types of Evaluation

Process-determine whether program has reached target audience and if activities have been implemented correctly

Outcome-determines how well program met its objectives

Developmental-supporting the process of innovation and learning, often used early in an innovative program, or in a complex situation of high complexity

Pros and Cons of Evaluation Research

Pros- Holds programs and policies accountable

Gives proof that something works before spending more $

Identifies programs that are not working

Cons- process gets politicized

Research can be skewed towards desired result, especially in high profile programs

Outcomes may be determined by politics

E.g. we may over-focus on in-vogue outcome