Agency-based Program Evaluation: Lessons from Practice, by Stephen A. Kapp and Gary R. Anderson, serves as a core textbook in the advanced undergraduate and graduate social work program evaluation courses. It combines the methodology of program evaluation with the reality of working with agencies and organizations to describe the effectiveness of their services and programs. Students will gain an understanding of the political and social context and pressures in which a program is developed, implemented and evaluated. This book offers a practice-oriented approach to evaluation. While many program evaluation methods texts often add a chapter or brief sections that describe organizational and political factors, this book begins with the context of an agency-based evaluation and describes the method within that context. Students will gain a more complete understanding of this contextual challenge and will learn techniques for operating in the face of these challenges.

Group Designs and Methods

You want the two groups to be fairly comparable.

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The purpose of many program evaluations is to make summative statements about the nature of a program and its effectiveness. There are a number of methodological approaches to providing this information. Group designs are a potentially useful methodological approach that permits the evaluation to have some confidence about the impact of the program—that is, that the positive benefits provided to individuals, families, or communities are related to the actual service being provided. This chapter will survey these designs and methods, including specifications, design options, and a range of challenges for the evaluation process.

Design Specifications

When designing an approach to an evaluation, a number of factors could shape the construction of this design. ...

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