Policy Evaluation


The policy process is complex, dynamic, and rarely linear. Evaluation can inform all domains of CDC’s Policy Process. However, evaluation efforts may require different considerations within each domain. The information provided in the document “Using Evaluation to Inform CDC’s Policy Process” can be used to assist public health professionals who are evaluating their work within specific domains of the Policy Process to ask the right questions, and use an approach to gathering evidence and performing analysis that will be viewed as credible and enhance the ability of policies to improve public health.

This document is intended to provide information and examples in order to:

  • Improve our understanding of evaluation as it applies to the five specific domains of the Policy Process;
  • Recognize the value of, and opportunities for, policy evaluation;
  • Improve our ability to evaluate one or more specific domains of the Policy Process;
  • Understand the importance of using evaluation findings to inform the evidence base.

Policy Evaluation is the systematic collection and analysis of information to make judgments about contexts, activities, characteristics, or outcomes of one or more domain(s) of the Policy Process. Evaluation may inform and improve policy development, adoption, implementation, and effectiveness, and builds the evidence base for policy interventions.