What is evaluation?

Evaluation is the process by which you make a judgement about the worth of something.

Some definitions of evaluation…

 “The process by which we decided the value of worth of something. For health promotion, this process involves measurement and observation and comparison with some criterion or standard” (Hawe, Degeling and Hall, 1990) 
  “Evaluation is the systematic assessment of the operation and/or the outcomes of a program or policy, compared to a set of explicit or implicit standards, as a means of contributing to the improvement of the program or policy” (Weiss, 1998)  

Evaluation involves observing, documenting and measuring. It compares what happened with what you expected to happen.

It involves looking at the project and judging whether you are doing what you said you’d do, whether it’s going well, how you could improve it, and whether it resulted in any unexpected developments.

Evaluating, or assessing the value or worth of something, it is an activity that involves making judgements. “Value” is not absolute – people have different views about what is of value. This will influence what information about the project is important to collect. This is explored late in “who could have an interest in your evaluation”.


Evaluation Why Evaluate?