Program evaluation combines both theory and practice and is used by organizations to gather information for planning, designing, implementing, and assessing results.
Effective program evaluation should be systemic, use a sound evaluation methodology and use multiple sources of information. Program Evaluation is a process by which previously set targets can be reviewed to get an idea of what has been accomplished. It can also help organizations learn from shortcomings, and figure out how best to move forward in the future.
According to the Government of Canada, “Evaluating program progress and reporting on results are good management practices. Evaluations give senior managers evidence-based information to improve programming, shape new policies and programs, and ensure value for money. Evaluation studies consider a program’s ongoing need, intended outcomes, and whether there are alternative, more cost-effective ways to meet objectives.”
For academic articles and resources on Program Evaluation check out the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation from the Canadian Evaluation Society.