Course Description

470.660 - Program Evaluation

Program Evaluation is the systematic use of empirical information to assess and improve the efficacy of public or non-profit 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 introduces the student to the literature, theories and approaches to evaluating organizational programs, policies and procedures. Students will acquire a broad perspective on types of program evaluation, including formative and summative evaluation, process evaluation, monitoring of outputs and outcomes, impact assessment, and cost analysis. Students gain practical experience through exercises and assignments involving the design of a conceptual framework, development of indicators, analysis of quantitative and qualitative evaluation data, and development of an evaluation plan to measure impact. In addition, topics such as experimental, quasi-experimental, and non-experimental study designs are introduced in the context of a variety of settings, including schools, welfare agencies, mental health organizations, criminal justice settings, environmental programs, nonprofit organizations, and corporations. Prerequisite: 470.681 Statistics and Political Analysis