Evaluation and research: Differences and similarities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article discusses the similarities and dissimilarities between research and evaluation, which are two clearly differentiated disciplines despite their similarity in concepts, tools, and
methods. The purpose of research is to enlarge the body of scientific knowledge; the purpose of evaluation is to provide useful feedback to program managers and entrepreneurs. In this
article I examine the central characteristics of research and
evaluation (validity, generalization, theory and hypotheses, relevance, and causality) and the different roles those characteristics play in each. I discuss the different functions of evaluation and research, and propose some criteria for fulfilling the different demands of evaluation and research. And I argue that the constant pressure to examine evaluations by the criteria of research prevents evaluation from becoming an independent discipline and delays the development of standards and criteria
that are useful to evaluators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
JournalThe Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation
Volume18
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003

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