Program evaluation refers to the systematic process of gathering data and putting them all together in order to generate an overall assessment of a program, policy or project needed in decision-making. It provides a list of the strengths and weaknesses used in assessing the efficiency of a program. Both profit and non-profit organizations depend on program evaluation as a tool in gauging the performance of their projects. Often ignored in the process of program implementation, program evaluation is, in fact, necessary in providing constructive information for the improvement of an organization.
In an evaluation, the data analyzed serve as guide for decision-makers on how well a program or project is operating. This answers questions regarding the effectiveness of the program to the implementer and beneficiaries, the attainment of the program goals and objectives, and the options for future improvement (McNamara, 2002). Evaluation of the internal and external factors affecting the operation of the program aims to provide credible, objective, and pertinent conclusions to decision-makers.
Internal evaluation, covering all levels of an organization, requires the participation the program staff and stakeholders in the assessment of the program operation. External evaluation, on the other hand, takes account of the changing conditions outside of the organization that may have an influence to the performance of a program (Freeman, 2006). Findings of a program evaluation would serve as ground for the betterment of a project and the organization, as well.
This would also serve as basis for the maintenance of existing program policies and construction of more cost and time-efficient operations. Moreover, evaluation can serve as basis for other organizations in carrying out analogous plans. References: Freeman, B. (2006). The Importance of Program Evaluation. from http://501cweb. wordpress. com/2006/12/30/the-importance-of-program-evaluation/ McNamara, C. (2002). A Basic Guide to Program Evaluation [Electronic Version], from http://www. tgci. com/magazine/A%20Basic%20Guide%20to%20Program%20Evaluation. pdf
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