PB AF 526
Theory, practice, and politics of evaluation, from simple feedback mechanisms to evaluation of large-scale ongoing programs and social experiments. Emphasis on applications of experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation. Case studies illustrate various types of evaluation. Prerequisite: PB AF 527
Program Evaluation is the systematic use of empirical information to assess and improve the efficacy of public or nonprofit programs and policies. Evaluation is increasingly required by funders and policy makers concerned with accountability and efficient use of public or philanthropic resources. In addition, many governments and organizations have built the logic of evaluation into their work through systems of performance management and monitoring.
This course will introduce you to the framework of evaluation, the development of plans for formative and summative evaluations, and the data collection tools for implementing evaluation. We will draw on your knowledge of organizational design, management, statistics, and data analysis. In addition, we will explore the role of evaluators, funders, program staff, and stakeholders (powerful and less so) in planning, implementing, and responding to program evaluation.
Student learning goals
Understand the purposes and logic of program evaluation;
apply principles of research design to evaluation questions;
explore qualitative and quantitative data collection methods for evaluation; and
understand the processes of evaluation and best practices for participation of stakeholders.
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading