Program evaluation determines the merit or significance of policy outcomes. Analysis and evaluation also consider unintended consequences.
The evaluation of programs and policy considers, for example, whether the program is fit-for-purpose (appropriateness), delivered with fidelity or with minimal budget or time (efficiency) and able to achieve target outputs and intended outcomes (effectiveness).
Evaluation involves the design, collection and analysis of evidence regarding the impacts of a program or policy. While evaluation can be useful for assessing outcomes achieved (summative evaluation), it is equally important in helping to improve program rollout during the implementation phase (formative evaluation). It requires advanced research skills in both qualitative and quantitative analysis to establish appropriate samples, address evaluator biases, and ensure that the resulting analysis is robust and defensible.
Other related activities include: developing program theory/logic models; establishing evaluation frameworks; building evaluation capability within an organisation; and introducing organisation-wide monitoring processes.
How ACIL Allen can help you
We have advanced expertise in program evaluation and can help you to:
- determine at the outset whether particular programs are suitable to be evaluated, and if so, which form of evaluation is most suitable
- establish evaluation frameworks to guide evaluation activities, including through elaboration of program theory and development of a program logic models to determine the pathway from objectives through to outcomes
- undertake literature reviews, research syntheses, benchmarking studies or needs analyses to identify service gaps and leading approaches elsewhere
- review policies or programs to assess their implementation and outcomes
- assess the cost-effectiveness of various interventions or service improvement options.
We have extensive experience in leading rigorous evaluation projects across many social and economic sectors, including school education, Indigenous affairs, commercialisation, family violence prevention, higher education/skills, social disadvantage, sector reform and organisational performance. We also provide evaluation capacity building activities.
All our evaluations are conducted with acknowledgement for the Australasian Evaluation Society’s Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Evaluations.