EVALUATION: PURPOSE AND DEFINITION

While some rightly say that the fundamental purpose of evaluation is the determination of the worth or merit of a program or solution (Scriven, 1967), the ultimate purpose, and value, of determining this worth is in providing the information for making data-driven decisions that lead to improved performance of programs and organizations (Guerra-López, 2007a). The notion that evaluation's most important purpose is not to prove but to improve was originally put forward by Egon Guba when he served on the Phi Delta Kappa National Study Committee on Evaluation around 1971 (Stufflebeam, 2003). This should be the foundation for all evaluation efforts, now and in the future. Every component of an evaluation must be ...

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