You are here

An Introduction to Evaluation

An Introduction to Evaluation

First Edition
  • Chris Fox - Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
  • Robert Grimm - Ipsos Political and Social Research
  • Rute Caldeira - Head of Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning at Transparency International

October 2016 | 328 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Both practical and theoretical in approach, this book is the perfect companion for student researchers and policy makers alike. It provides actionable advice for planning and implementing evaluations, while also instilling an ability to assess the evaluations of others and consider the ways in which evaluation evidence could influence policy and practice.

Drawing upon a wide range of examples from policy areas like education, criminal justice, and health and social care, this book showcases how evaluation is an interdisciplinary research practice with a spectrum of applications. Each chapter contains philosophical underpinnings and applied knowledge as well as examples from published evaluations.

Specific topics include how to:

  • Choose an approach to evaluation
  • Plan, design, and conduct evaluations
  • Approach evaluations using theories of change
  • Differentiate between process, impact, and economic evaluations
  • Understand the role of quantitative and qualitative methods in data collection
  • Use systematic reviews and other tools to assess and disseminate evaluation findings

From getting started in the field to turning evidence into policy, this book will guide you through every step of the evaluation process.

What is evaluation?
The ethics of evaluations
Theories of change
Process evaluation
Impact evaluation
Economic evaluation
Evaluation methods
Planning an evaluation
Conducting an evaluation
Systematic reviews
Knowledge mobilisation: getting evidence into policy and practice
Evaluation paradigms and the limits of evidence based policy

Program evaluation is key to the evidence based policy making that governments, NGOs, and even businesses are embracing all over the world. This unique, outstanding publication is required reading for anyone interested in understanding the key elements of this important topic. 

Darrell Bricker
CEO, Ipsos Public Affairs

This book offers a refreshingly applied view of evaluation and shows how to fit methods and techniques to the contrasting circumstances and needs of different projects. Its cross-theory approach and practical examples will help advanced students and researchers alike address the real tensions that evaluators today face from rising user expectations and diminishing budgets and timeframes.

David Parsons
Visiting Professor, Carnegie Faculty, Leeds Beckett University

Compact and informative book. Very useful reference. Added to the reference list.

Michele Gazzola
Institute for Research in Social Sciences, Ulster University
May 31, 2022

A very interesting book on evaluation which is suitable for both students and practitioners, using a range of real life examples. Wide coverage of the topic from definition, design, practical advice, systematic reviews, and key paradigms and perspectives.

Dr Mansour Pourmehdi
Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University
April 1, 2022

the book is well-written and well-organised. Perhaps pitched somewhat high for my students but definitely recommend it

Dr Spyros Themelis
Sch of Education & Lifelong Learning, University of East Anglia
February 2, 2018

For instructors

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781473902879
ISBN: 9781473902862

SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.

With SAGE Research Methods, researchers can explore their chosen method across the depth and breadth of content, expanding or refining their search as needed; read online, print, or email full-text content; utilize suggested related methods and links to related authors from SAGE Research Methods' robust library and unique features; and even share their own collections of content through Methods Lists. SAGE Research Methods contains content from over 720 books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks, the entire “Little Green Book,” and "Little Blue Book” series, two Major Works collating a selection of journal articles, and specially commissioned videos.