Evaluation Methods - Sheldon OSteen Evaluating Public...

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Sheldon O’Steen Evaluating Public Policy Essay 2 March 15, 2011 Evaluation as a Common Practice Evaluation has become an important part of today’s society, integrated into almost every activity as an essential function. Some of these activities may include an evaluation of cleanliness in a restaurant, the number of people helped by an advocacy group or even an assessment after a work-out. Evaluation is defined as a systematic determination of merit, worth, and significance of something or someone using criteria against a set of standards. (EPA/ESD - What Is Program Evaluation?) This definition provides some insight on why evaluation is important in our society and the values of our nation. The definition implies, and rightfully so, that our nation values efficiency and accountability. If an activity does not meet set standards, something must be changed and someone must be held accountable. This is particularly important in program evaluation. Organizations want to know if their programs are efficient and serving the purpose according to the set standards. Evaluation does not mean simply sending out a survey or assessing numbers. There are many different types of program evaluation. Some of these types of evaluation include developmental, formative, monitoring and auditing, and summative. This essay will focus on formative and summative evaluations. Formative Evaluation Advantages A formative evaluation documents and analyzes the early development and actual implementation of the strategy or program, assessing whether strategies were implemented as
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planned and whether expected output was actually produced. In the beginning, formative evaluation can be used to determine if there is a need for the program, how great that need is, and what it would take to meet that need. Since formative evaluation occurs during the early stages of evaluation, it is useful to determine if the evaluation is feasible and how to make the evaluation as useful as possible for the intended purpose. The stakeholders in the evaluation can define the program, the technology used, define the target population, and begin to conceptualize the possible outcomes. In a formative evaluation, it is also important to evaluate the implementation of the program. The evaluation can examine if the program is reaching the
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This note was uploaded on 03/20/2011 for the course PUBLIC POL 4051 taught by Professor Bell during the Spring '11 term at Georgia State.

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Evaluation Methods - Sheldon OSteen Evaluating Public...

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