Categories of Program Evaluation

… a core concept used in Evaluation and Performance Measurement and Atlas108

Concept description

Leslie Pal (reference below) sets out the three broad categories of program evaluation.

Pal writes (p. 272):

“Program evaluation “is the application of systematic methods to address questions about program operations and results. It may include ongoing monitoring of a program as well as one-shot studies of program processes or program impact” (Newcomer, Hatry, & Wholey, 2010, pp. 5–6). Figure 7.1 sketches these three categories with some illustrative questions.”

These are elaborated at: Process Evaluation; Efficiency Evaluation; Impact Evaluation.

See also: Policy Analysis and Policy Evaluation; Contrasting Purposes of Evaluation.

Atlas topic, subject, and course

The Study of Evaluation and Performance Measurement in the Public Sector (core topic) in Evaluation and Performance Measurement and Atlas108 Analytic Methods and Evaluation.


Leslie Pal (2014), Beyond Policy Analysis – Public Issue Management in Turbulent Times, Fifth Edition, Nelson Education, Toronto. See Beyond Policy Analysis – Book Highlights.

Newcomer, K. E., Hatry, H. P., & Wholey, J. S. (2010). Planning and designing useful evaluations. In J. S. Wholey, H. P. Hatry, & K. E. Newcomer (Eds.), Handbook of practical program evaluation (3rd ed.). (pp. 5–29). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 14 April 2017.

Image: PHC Group Consulting, at,  accessed 10 April 2017.