Different Types of Evaluation

Once you pinpoint the reason for conducting your evaluation and the target population, you can better determine the most appropriate type of evaluation. This section describes the five major types of evaluations and the appropriate circumstances for their uses.

  

 

Click on the links below to view information on types of evaluation 

 

Evaluation Type

Definition

Uses

Examples


Formative

  • Evaluates a program during  development in order to make early improvements
  • Helps to refine or improve program
  • When starting a new program
  • To assist in the early phases of program development
  • How well is the program being delivered?
  • What strategies can we use to improve this program?


Summative

  • Provides information on program effectiveness
  • Conducted after the completion of the program design
  • To help decide whether to continue or end a program 
  • To help determine whether a program should be expanded to other locations
  • Should this program continue to be funded?
  • Should we expand these services to all other after-school programs in the community?


Process

  • Determines if specific program strategies were implemented as planned
  • Focuses on program implementation
  • To determine why an established program has changed over time
  • To address inefficiencies in program delivery of services
  • To accurately portray to outside parties program operations (e.g., for replication elsewhere)
  • Did your program meet its goals for recruitment of program participants? 
  • Did participants receive the specified number of service hours?


Outcomes

  • Focuses on the changes in comprehension, attitudes, behaviors, and practices that result from programs activities
  • Can include both short and long term results
  • To decide whether program/activity affect participants outcomes
  • To establish and measure clear benefits of the program
  • Did your participants report the desired changes after completing a program cycle? 
  • What are the short or long term results observed among (or reported by) participants?


Impact

  • Focuses on long term, sustained changes as a result of the program activities, both positive/negative and intended/unintended
  • To influence policy
  • To see impact in longitudinal studies with comparison groups
  • What changes in your program participants’ behaviors are attributable to your program? 
  • What effects would program participants miss out on without this program?

 

Now that you have reviewed these different types of evaluation designs, you may want to revisit your Logic Model