The Growth of the Evaluation Tree in the Policy Analysis Forest: Recent Developments in Evaluation

Abstract: The practice and profession of evaluation is continually evolving. From its early origin in the Great Society years of the 1960s, through its golden years of the 1970s, its transformation under the fiscal conservatism of the Reagan era in the 1980s, and in its maturation during the performance and results era of the 1990s, the field of evaluation continues to evolve in response to broader trends in society. This article examines recent developments and trends in the practice and profession of evaluation. Structured around the evaluation theory tree, the presentation of these developments elaborates on the three main branches of evaluation: methods, use, and valuing. The concluding discussion briefly addresses the central role of evaluation—and other types of knowledge production—in providing actionable evidence for use in public policy and program decision making.


License CC BY-NC-ND
Type Journal Articles
C-ID POLS 110 - American
Pedagogical Note Not Yet