Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

	The Evaluation Framework’s steps include: Engaging stakeholders; Describing the program; Focusing the evaluation design; Gathering credible evidence; Justifying conclusions; Ensuring use and sharing lessons learned. The Evaluation Standards are organized into the following four groups: Utility; Feasibility; Propriety; and Accuracy.

What is program evaluation?

Evaluation: A systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using data to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of programs and, as importantly, to contribute to continuous program improvement.

Program: Any set of related activities undertaken to achieve an intended outcome; any organized public health action. At CDC, program is defined broadly to include policies; interventions; environmental, systems, and media initiatives; and other efforts. It also encompasses preparedness efforts as well as research, capacity, and infrastructure efforts.

At CDC, effective program evaluation is a systematic way to improve and account for public health actions.

Why evaluate?

  • CDC has a deep and long-standing commitment to the use of data for decision making, as well as the responsibility to describe the outcomes achieved with its public health dollars.
  • Strong program evaluation can help us identify our best investments as well as determine how to establish and sustain them as optimal practice.
  • The goal is to increase the use of evaluation data for continuous program improvement Agency-wide.

"We have to have a healthy obsession with impact. To always be asking ourselves what is the real impact of our work on improving health?"
~ Dr. Frieden, January 21, 2014

What's the difference between evaluation,
research, and monitoring?

  • Evaluation: Purpose is to determine effectiveness of a specific program or model and understand why a program may or may not be working. Goal is to improve programs.
  • Research: Purpose is theory testing and to produce generalizable knowledge. Goal is to contribute to knowledge base.
  • Monitoring: Purpose is to track implementation progress through periodic data collection. Goal is to provide early indications of progress (or lack thereof).
  • There are also similarities:
    • Data collection methods and analyses are often similar between research and evaluation.
    • Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) measure and assess performance to help improve performance and achieve results.

"Research seeks to prove, evaluation seeks to improve."
~ Michael Quinn Patton, Founder and Director of Utilization-Focused Evaluation

"There's a misconception that programs and evaluation are separate… evaluation is another term for good management of a program."

~ Dr. Frieden, June 25, 2015

CDC Evaluation Fellowship

	2017 CDC Evaluation Fellowship programNow accepting applications for the 2017 class of the CDC Evaluation Fellowship. Read the CDC Evaluation Fellowship information page to learn more.

2017-18 Evaluation Fellowship Program – Deadline April 14, 2017

Applications are accepted February – April of each year, with start date in mid-August. This year’s application closes April 14, 2017. 1 pm Eastern Time.  


Contact Evaluation Program