Evaluation Designs

This week we have looked at different evaluation designs in order for us to understand different approaches to the effectiveness question. We must also understand that many factors other than the program or policy may have caused the outcomes that we observe. We will look at the Paint Creek Youth Center evaluation to illustrate the concepts that we have studied this week. In this evaluation, a “classic experimental design was used to determine whether youths assigned to a small experimental program, . . . actually received significantly different treatment, and performed better, than control youths assigned to traditional training schools” (Greenwood & Turner, 1993).


After reading the summary of the evaluation and your assigned reading for this week, discuss the following questions:

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  • What is the research design(s) that is used in this impact evaluation and why did our designers choose it? Could we have used another design just as effectively?
  • Identify the outcome measures, used in the evaluation; do they adequately measure the listed objectives? Name and defend one other outcome measure that could have been used for this evaluation.
  • Discuss the implications of bad news in this evaluation, that the program may not be effective. Why might an ineffective program survive a negative evaluation?


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