Evaluation Research - The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Criminology


Chris Fox, Steve Morris


Evaluation is the application of research methods in order to make judgments about policies, programs, or interventions with the aim of either determining or improving their effectiveness, and/or informing decisions about their future. Different types of evaluation include formative, summative, process, impact, and economic evaluation. A number of different movements or schools of evaluation can be distinguished, often favoring particular methods and methodologies and, either implicitly or explicitly, different epistemologies and ontologies. While evaluation can trace its history back to the early twentieth century, the discipline grew rapidly in the postwar period as the reach and ambition of governments' social policies increased. A key challenge for evaluation in the future will be the increasing complexity of social problems.

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Fox, C. and Morris, S. (2020) ‘Evaluation Resarch’, in Ritzer, G. and Rojek, C. (Eds.) The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, John Wiley and Sons Ltd. DOI: 10.1002/9781405165518.wbeos1579

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