Program Evaluation

Program Evaluation



Program Evaluation

            Qualitative evaluation method used in research is direct observation whereas the quantitative is represented by use of survey. In survey technique, existing databases are necessary for evidence-based mode of transfer especially when various sets of data are in requisition. Quantitative evaluation through direct observation is need oriented. In the qualitative evaluation methods, non-statistical technique of analysis is rampant with varied forms when carried out through direct observation (Yilmaz, 2013). Qualitative evaluation through administered survey questionnaires is process- oriented. In quantitative method, statistical analysis gives resemblance and credibility towards questionnaires used. In survey, the data is usually hard, scientific, and rigorous especially at the input level whereas direct observation offers sensitivity, contextual, nuance, and detailed form of data as seen through first hand experience. Direct observation delivers on the why and how whereas survey is subject to who, when and what.

               Both survey method and direct observation evaluation are determined by research question, especially on the scope of study required. There has to be a reason for the research before acceptance on the method being used. Evaluation of program involves the systematic method of collection, analysis, and subsequent use of processed data into information to answer all rations in the plan. The most important aspects of the analysis are the efficiency and effectiveness. The hindsight is enabled with the type of information to be gathered for the study. Data analysis becomes crucial in the selection of the evaluation method. For example, the cost, time, and level of expertise determine the choice made for a particular study. There has to be a plan of investigation in the use of any method. Both evaluation methods are then seen through action oriented results. They have to provide insight into new outcomes, solutions, and criteria for solving the problem realized. Of importance is the manner in which the program can be improved, made worthwhile while checking on any alternatives. It is made possible without dispelling the need for facing the unintended outcomes from the one in use. In addition, evaluation increases the concern on program goals and their usefulness to effect.

            Direct observation evaluation method is strong in generalized findings, with representative sample and study population. It is easy to analyze, obtain consistent, reliable, and precise data. Cost efficiency also improves quantitative method. Weiss (2008) argues that limitations are witnessed through lack of secondary data, which is related and access can be impossible. In addition, it becomes at times difficult to understand in context activities. Administered survey evaluation method uses compliment and refined measures of quantitative data, giving it reliance. Detailed information is acquired as well as multiple methods of data gathering. It can also be used for various research studies at the same time for interpolation. Limitations are witnessed through generalizations of the findings in the process, does not fit in standard categories, the time consumption, and cost in data collection.  

            Quantitative evaluation methods are needs oriented while the qualitative are process- oriented. They are both determined by research question especially on the scope of study required, reason for the study and crucial nature of data collection. Despite the similarities and limitations of each valuation method, critical nature of the research required determines the approach used. Factors considered include cost efficiency, time consumption on data collection, scope of study covered, and level of expertise required as well as the relative ease of analysis, presentation, and comprehension.  


Weiss, C. H. (2008). Evaluation: Methods for studying programs and policies. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Yilmaz, K. (2013). Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Research Traditions: Epistemological, Theoretical, and Methodological Differences. European Journal of Education, 48, 2, 311-325.

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