Program evaluationis a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies and,particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency. In both the public and private sectors,often want to know whether the programs they are funding, implementing, voting for, receiving or objecting to are producing the intended effect. Whileprogram evaluationfirst focuses around this definition, important considerations often include how much the program costs per participant, how the program could be improved, whether the program is worthwhile, whether there are better alternatives, if there areunintendedoutcomes, and whether the program goals are appropriate and useful.Evaluators help to answer these questions, but the best way to answer the questions is for the evaluation to be a joint project between evaluators and stakeholders.
The process of evaluation is considered to be a relatively recent phenomenon. However, planned social evaluation has been documented as dating as far back as 2200 BC.Evaluation became particularly relevant in the U.S. in the 1960s during the period of thesocial programs associated with theandadministrations.Extraordinary sums were invested in social programs, but the impacts of these investments were largely unknown.
Program evaluations can involve bothandof. People who do program evaluation come from many different backgrounds, such as,,,, and. Some graduate schools also have specific training programs for program evaluation.