THREE ROOTS OF EVALUATION
Evaluation has a unique history. The need to evaluate the impact of interventions is not the domain of one field or industry. Some industries deliver a product or service, and some support the delivery. When looking at supporting disciplines, it is often said, “When times get tough, HR, OD, training [etc.] is the first budget to get cut.” Others argue that it is in tough times that these functions are the most important. This is where evaluation comes into play. Over the past fifty-plus years, evaluation has emerged in three distinct fields or disciplines.
Education and Social Programs
Before the 1940s, evaluation was primarily used to assess education and was performed mostly by university affiliated social science ...