Information About Evaluation

Evaluation: An Overview

Research Methods Knowledge Base – Provides some useful basic information about evaluation.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook – A detailed handbook on the practice of evaluation.

NSF User-Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation – A good overview of evaluation from the National Science Foundation, including data analysis, and a comparison of various data collection techniques.


Evaluation Methods

Evaluators can use lots of different methods as part of an evaluation. Many methods come from the social sciences, but evaluators have also been active contributors in creating and refining methods to better suit evaluation contexts and questions.

Research Methods Knowledge Base – Provides some useful basic information about evaluation methods including sampling, measurement, and design.

Evaluation at Work

Examples of Organizations Using Evaluation

Many organizations use evaluation to help them understand their programs and evaluate their effectiveness.  Links are provided here to the websites of a few large organizations and foundations who stress the importance of evaluation in their work.

Evaluation policies

Many groups, particularly government agencies, have recently begun adopting formal policies about evaluation to help guide their stakeholders. These policies provide a glimpse into how organizations think about evaluation, and how they are integrating it into their work.


Professional Associations Around Evaluation

AEA – The American Evaluation Association is the major professional group for evaluators in the USA. It holds an annual conference around evaluation practice, and provides an important learning and networking community for program evaluators.

CES – The Canadian Evaluation Society is the major professional group for evaluators in Canada. Canada’s evaluator competencies and credentialing system which has been developed over the last few years, may be of particular interest.

EES – The European Evaluation Society is the major professional group for evaluators in Europe, and also engages with evaluators internationally. Europe has a strong tradition of evaluation, and the EES helps provide standards of practice and a community of evaluation practitioners in Europe. Their statement on methodological diversity in evaluation may be of particular interest.

Guidelines Around the Practice of Evaluation

AEA Guiding Principles – As evaluators we adhere to the guiding principles developed by the AEA around the practice of evaluations. The four categories of principles include: systematic inquiry, competence, integrity/honesty, respect for people, and responsibilities for general and public welfare.

Joint Committee Standards for Educational Evaluation – This group is a coalition of a number of professional associations with an interest in ensuring the evaluations are high quality; AEA is a member of this coalition. These standards have not been formally adopted by AEA, but help provide additional guidance to evaluators.

*Disclaimer: These resources are provided purely for informational purposes. No warranty is made by The Evaluation Center as to their appropriateness or accuracy. The Evaluation Center does not necessarily endorse these organizations or their views.

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