Evaluation is the systematic determination of the quality, value and importance of something. The ‘something’ could be a project, programme or policy; an initiative, organisation or artefact; it could relate to personnel or organisational performance; or something similar.
The process and product of reaching robust, defensible evaluative conclusions logically derived from evidence is what distinguishes evaluation from many other activities such as research, audit, decision making methodology, monitoring, rich description, policy analysis, and the like. These activities may include evaluative components but often do not. On the other hand, evaluation always focuses particularly and intentionally on the quality, value and importance of things.
In 2014 the ANZEA Board supported the development of this brief resource, written by Kate McKegg and Syd King.
This resource is intended for anyone who has an interest or stake in evaluation and would like an accessible introduction to the field. You can download the resource below.