Types of evaluation

Types of Evaluation

Evaluations could be classified based on different characteristics including: according to primary purpose of evaluation, focus of evaluation or who leads the evaluation

Classification Based on Primary Purpose

According to their primary purpose, evaluations could be classified as formative and summative evaluations.

i. Formative Evaluation:

Formative evaluations are evaluations conducted with the primary purpose of furnishing information that will guide program improvement. It is a type of evaluation performed during the entire planning process and program execution to answer evaluation questions important to modify an intervention.

It provides solutions for program improvement by answering questions such as:

  • How can the intervention be modified to achieve its outputs?
  • Are there better solutions to beneficiaries needs?
  • How do components of a program relate amongst themselves?

ii. Summative Evaluation

Summative evaluations are evaluations undertaken to render a summary judgment on certain critical aspects of a program. Usually summative evaluation is performed to provide judgment about the worth of a program or any of its components. It informs decisions like:

  • Is the program effective?
  • Should the program be continued?

Classification Based on Focus

According to their focus, evaluations could be classified as: Process Evaluation and Outcome/Impact Evaluation

i. Process Evaluations

Process evaluation also called implementation evaluation; focus on the implementation of program activities answering questions like:

  • What is the implementation degree of the program and what program/context/users related factors may explain the observed degree of implementation?
  • Are the planned actions reaching the targeted population? Do the users have access to the intervention? What were the barriers?

ii. Outcome/Impact Evaluation

Evaluations focusing on the assessment of net effects of programs on target populations are called outcome/impact evaluations.

  • Outcome - focus on intermediate results
  • Impact - focus on long term ultimate results

Outcome evaluation involves comparison of: levels of social conditions intended to be addressed by the program with the counterfactual (what would have been there if the program was not in place)

Classification Based on Who Leads the Evaluation

Based on people primarily responsible to lead evaluation activities, evaluation could be classified as: internal evaluation and external Evaluation

i. Internal Evaluation

Internal evaluation is evaluation of activities designed and implemented primarily under a leadership from program implementers. It usually serves information for program improvement by supplementing monitoring activities

ii. External Evaluation

External evaluation is evaluation designed and implemented primarily by people who are relatively more distant from the program (external evaluators). External evaluation is used when:

  • Objectivity is a concern because of issues related to the purpose of the evaluation
  • Concerns of multiple stakeholders included in evaluation questions
  • Evaluation expertise beyond the organization's capacity is required to answer evaluation questions
Last modified: Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 5:49 PM