The Second Edition of Building Evaluation Capacity provides 89 highly structured activities which require minimal instructor preparation and encourage application-based learning of how to design and conduct evaluation studies. Ideal for use in program evaluation courses, professional development workshops, and organization stakeholder trainings, the activities cover the entire process of evaluation, including: understanding what evaluation is; the politics and ethics; the influence of culture; various models, approaches and designs; data collection and analysis methods; communicating and reporting progress and findings; and building and sustaining support. Each activity includes an overview, instructional objectives, minimum and maximum number of participants, range of time required, materials needed, primary instructional method, and procedures for facilitators to help learners in the most common evaluation practices.

Overview of Evaluation

Overview of Evaluation


This section includes activities that address

  • Defining evaluation
  • Using evaluation logic
  • Understanding different types of evaluation
  • Exploring the history of evaluation
  • Understanding the differences between evaluation and research

The following information is provided as a brief introduction to the topics covered in these activities.

Definition of Evaluation

Various definitions of evaluation have been offered over the years. While each definition takes a slightly different view of evaluation, they all share important commonalities. First, evaluation is viewed as a systematic process. It should not be conducted as an afterthought; rather, it is a planned and purposeful activity. Second, evaluation involves collecting data regarding questions or issues about society in general and organizations and programs in particular. Third, evaluation is a process for enhancing knowledge and decision making, whether ...

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