Program Evaluation under Constraints


Units: 6

Description: Program evaluation under constraints provides an objective basis for decision making regarding program outcomes under time, financial, technical, information and political constraints. It highlights best practice social science methodologies to assess the outcomes and impact a program along in line with its design and implementation. Evaluations are critical in determining the achievements of challenges faced by the programs, and for making recommendations. However, often there are significant limitations to undertake them. Coping with these challenges and being able to provide robust analysis are therefore critical. Moreover, results of evaluations have consequences beyond the program but often they are not made public, partly because programs face significant challenges while being implemented. Some implementors may not wish for these challenges to be made public despite also having had many achievements. Results of evaluations may be highly politically charged or of interest only to direct stakeholders. The program evaluation course is designed to: • Provide the student with the theoretical, conceptual and methodological tools to undertake program evaluation under constraints • Teach the student how to conduct basic and complex program evaluations, as well as how to critique and monitor comprehensive program evaluations.

Learning Outcomes: By the completion of this course, the graduate student will: • Understand the purpose of program evaluation, the various types of program evaluation methodologies, and how to use program evaluation methods to answer research questions relevant to policy, practice, and programming. • Develop a logic model to express a theory of change, and specify strategies to implement this theory of change. • Understand different frameworks for evaluations • Understand how best to undertake evaluations when faced with multiple constraints • Learn about performance measurement and systematic tracking of outputs and outcomes. • Understand how to manage evaluations