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Evaluation Standards

This set of 30 standards assesses the quality of evaluation activities, determining whether a set of evaluative activities are well-designed and working to their potential. These standards, adopted from the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation, answer the question, "Will this evaluation be effective?". The standards are recommended as criteria for judging the quality of program evaluation efforts in public health.

The 30 standards are organized into the following four groups:

  1. Utility standards ensure that an evaluation will serve the information needs of intended users.
  2. Feasibility standards ensure that an evaluation will be realistic, prudent, diplomatic and frugal.
  3. Propriety standards ensure that an evaluation will be conducted legally, ethically and with due regard for the welfare of those involved in the evaluation, as well as those affected by its results.
  4. Accuracy standards ensure that an evaluation will reveal and convey technically adequate information about the features that determine worth or merit of the program being evaluated.

The steps and standards are used together throughout the evaluation process. For each step, there are a sub-set of standards that are generally most relevant to consider. These are linked in the table: Cross-Reference of Steps and Relevant Standards [PDF - 36KB].

For additional details, see Evaluation Standards.

The full set of the recently published 3rd edition of the Program Evaluation Standards can be purchased from Sage Publications.

Continue to the Hints for Conducting Strong Evaluations.

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  • Tom Chapel, Chief Evaluation Officer
    Evaluation Team, Program Performance and Evaluation Office (PPEO)
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