Discussion on Program Evaluation

Discussion on Program Evaluation

Program evaluation refers to the systematic application of scientific approaches to assessing the operation or outcomes of a program and compare the results to a set of explicit or implicit standards as a technique of contributing to the improvement of the program (Newcomer, Hatry & Wholey, 2015). Besides, evaluation helps to improve the services of the program and ensure it delivers the right services.

Some of the important evaluation approaches include the following. First formative evaluation encompasses the use of evaluation methods to improve the delivery of a program (Newcomer, Hatry & Wholey, 2015). Besides, a formative evaluation is an ongoing process that is goal-based and problem oriented. During the program cycle, it allows for the implementation of the feedback. Second, summative evaluation measures the outcome and impact of the program during an ongoing operation or after completing the program (Newcomer, Hatry & Wholey, 2015). The approach provides the overall description of the effectiveness of the program.

Program evaluation differs from other types of analysis since it focuses on contributing to the improvement of the services of the program or policy. Similarly, it entails planning the evaluation, determining the evaluation questions and answering the evaluation questions using the various approaches.

Validity refers to the degree to which a research study measures what it claims to measure. Internal validity seeks to determine whether the program or intervention has produced an outcome and to establish the magnitude of the impact (Newcomer, Hatry & Wholey, 2015). Moreover, regarding the internal validity of evaluation, the program evaluator should assess whether it is possible to determine a causal connection between the program and the intended effect, and the degree of the relationship. External validity encompasses the generalization of the findings to the target population. Besides, it occurs when the determined causal relationship can be generalized to the population, settings, and contexts. With statistical conclusion validity, the statistical generalizability needs the use of statistically significant findings (Newcomer, Hatry & Wholey, 2015). Moreover, it depends greatly on the sample size employed in an evaluation.



Newcomer, K. E., Hatry, H. P., & Wholey, J. S. (2015). Handbook of practical program evaluation. John Wiley & Sons.

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