Level 4
Program Evaluation for Scientists, Engineers, and Health Professionals


While policy analysis focuses on the future, program evaluation looks at the past performance of a program to see if it has met its societal goals,  how it can be improved, and whether funding for that program should be continued.  The figure above illustrates the process used by CDC.


Whatever the source of funding for your program, you'll likely be asked to evaluate it on a regular basis.  And when developing a proposal for funding, one common element requested is how you will evaluate the program to determine if it is successful in achieving the proposed outcomes.  

And when developing a policy analysis, your first step is to understand the "status quo."    That is, what is the current program and how well does it work according to the 4E's: effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and ease of political acceptability.  Based on this information, you can develop policy options to respond to what does not work well in the current program while maintaining those elements that do work well relative to the desired societal outcome.


Educational Outcomes 

In this “learn by doing” class, students will enhance their understanding of:


  • What program evaluation is and why it is important

  • Program evaluation framework (e.g., stakeholder participation)

  • Methods for evaluating programs (e.g., population-based vs. program-based)

  • Program evaluation standards

  • Development of a program evaluation plan

  • Understanding the difference between a good and poor program evaluation

Class Topics

  • What is program evaluation and why is it important?

  • What are the six steps and four evaluation standards in a program evaluation framework?

  • Step 1.  Engage stakeholders

  • Step 2.  Describe the program

  • Step 3. Focus the evaluation design

  • Step 4. Gather credible evidence

  • Step 5: Justify conclusions

  • Step 6: Ensure use and lessons learned