The evaluation of a program of action. For example a health care intervention. Program evaluation is concerned with outcomes as funding resources can be dependent upon the attainment of specified outcomes
Individual systematic studies conducted periodically or on an ad hoc basis to assess how well a program is working. They are often conducted by experts external to the program, either inside or outside the agency, as well as by program managers.
Action to assess the effectiveness of institutional programs and activities, as well as the effectiveness of Federal programs and activities in many cases, program evaluation activities are conducted on a continuous basis and are frequently included as salaries or other budgetary expenses.
The systematic collection of information about the activities, characteristics, and outcomes of programs to make judgments about the program, improve program effectiveness, and/or inform decisions about future program development.
Employs a set of applied research instruments to provide a systematic, objective assessment of elements of a program's performance. This information provides managers and other stakeholders with timely, relevant, credible and objective information on the continued relevance of government and departmental policies and programs, the impacts they are producing and opportunities for using alternative and more cost-effective policy and programming instruments. Depending on the timing of the evaluation, it can consist of: formative, implementation or mid-term evaluation which provides information mid-way through a program by examining the delivery of the program, the quality of its implementation and the assessment of the organizational context, personnel procedures and inputs; or summative or impact evaluation which determines the overall impact a program has had by examining the effects or outcomes of programs. Summative Evaluations focus on three primary concerns
The basis for making improvements to individual courses and CE programming overall. While program evaluations are related to and affected by the outcome of learning assessments, they are not one and the same. Program evaluations focus on the mechanics of a course (the extent to which the instructor is prepared, knowledgeable, and engaging; the handouts, overheads, and environment are conducive to learning; etc.).
An assessment—through objective measurement and systematic analysis—of the results, impact, or effects of a program or policy; the manner and extent to which Federal programs achieve intended objectives. Program evaluations also are frequently used to measure "unintended results" (good or bad) which were not explicitly included in the original statement of objectives or were unforeseen in the implementation design. Evaluation, therefore, can serve to validate or find errors in the basic purposes and premises that underlie a program or policy.
Evaluation of a set of interventions, marshaled to attain specific global, regional, country, or sector development objectives. Note: a development program is a time bound intervention involving multiple activities that may cut across sectors, themes and/or geographic areas. Related term: Country program/strategy evaluation. Source: OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management
Program evaluation is essentially a set of philosophies and techniques to determine if a program 'works'. It is a practice field that has emerged, particularly in the USA, as a disciplined way of assessing the merit, value, and worth of projects and programs. Evaluation became particularly relevant in the 1960s during the period of the Great Society social programs associated with the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.