Types of Program Evaluation
There are many types of policy and program evaluations. There are variations in terminology, but the major types of evaluation typically involve the following: a) determining the need and requirement for a program; b) assessing whether a program is working the way it is supposed to work; and c) the impact of the program on the larger environment, both short and long term. For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources and select a case involving physical infrastructure or economic development.
Post by Day 3 a brief description of the project and explain the type of evaluation employed in the case. Explain whether this was a needs assessment, formative, process, or summative (impact) evaluation and why. Describe the type of data used and whether comparisons were employed.
Respond by Day 5 to two colleagues in the following ways:
- What, in your opinion, was the problem the evaluation was designed to address?
- Does the type of evaluation depend on the manner in which the problem is defined? Explain.
Prepare two comments to say to students
Evaluability assessment, sometimes referred to as exploratory evaluation, is often conducted as a preliminary activity prior to conducting a formal evaluation. It is commonly used as a planning tool and is a quick and cost effective method to determine whether programs identified as candidates for evaluation have the objectives, activities, and resources that will facilitate a formal evaluation. It is not a substitute for a program evaluation that can determine whether the program is likely to be effective in its current form or whether changes and adjustments may need to be made. (Leviton, Khan, Rog, Dawkins & Cotton, 2010).
For example, the recidivism rate, the extent to which a criminal relapses back into criminal behavior, is a major measure of the effectiveness of criminal justice programs. The Second Chance Act of 2008 is a federal program designed to reduce recidivism in local communities. Grant funds from the Department of Justice were distributed to state, local governments, and nonprofits to develop appropriate programs.
To prepare for this Assignment, review this week’s Learning Resources and consider the evaluability of a funding effort. Access the Second Chance Act website and examine the success stories, focusing on the Roca, Inc. case.
Submit by Day 7 a 2- to 3-page paper which assesses the evaluability of this program, using the criteria in the readings for this week and indicates whether you anticipate that a formative, process, needs assessment, or summative evaluation will be most appropriate. Explain your reasoning.