Evaluation: to Prove or Improve?

October 4, 2006 at 9:20 pm Leave a comment


The International Conference of the European Evaluation Society is underway in London and I just participated in several of the pre-conference workshops.

In one workshop, Elliot Stern, a senior Evaluation Consultant made a very poignant point – is the aim of evaluation “to prove” or “improve”?

 A simple but interesting distinction – traditionally he pointed out most evaluation aimed to “prove” if an intervention changed anything – and that’s it (a gasp when through the room…)

It’s only a rather recent development that evaluation has been asked to focus also on “improve”  – how can an intervention be more effective. 

Most likely you are thinking that it can’t be so – how can an evaluation not make the step from “prove” to “improve” ? But often the terms of reference for an evaluator is only to “prove” – in other words, evaluate but please no recommendations.


Entry filed under: Trainings, Seminars & Conferences.

The “Before” Aspect of evaluation Assumptions, Evaluation and Development

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