This book, from SAGE’s Evaluation in Practice series, considers variants of experimental evaluation designs, including those that are not commonly used but could be with much greater frequency. It also includes instructions for how to set up such experiments within program processes to learn about the effects of improvement efforts.


The concepts of cause and effect are critical to the field of program evaluation. After all, establishing a causal connection between a program and its effects is at the core of what impact evaluations do. The field of program evaluation has its roots in the social work research of the settlement house movement and in the business-sector’s efficiency movement, both at the turn of the 20th century. Evaluation as we know it today emerged from the Great Society Era, when large scale demonstrations tested new, sweeping interventions to improve many aspects of our social, political, and economic worlds. Specifically, it was the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 that first stipulated evaluation requirements (Hogan, 2007). Thereafter, a slew of scholarly journals launched ...

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