Programme Evaluation

This course by Dr Delwyn Goodrick takes participants interested in public policy or programmes through the key stages of an evaluation.



Monday 25 – Wednesday 27 February 2019


Dr Delwyn Goodrick


This course assumes a basic understanding of methods of data collection, including surveys, focus groups and other group methods, interviews, document analysis, and data retrieval for secondary data.

Course outline

This three-day intensive course is designed for public sector workers and academics who are interested in commissioning, managing and/or conducting evaluations of public policy or programmes.

The course is structured to progress participants through the key stages of an evaluation. Participants are exposed to key theories and approaches to evaluation and then consider the application of these approaches to their own work practice. Participants will be guided through negotiation and planning an evaluation, through to final reporting and dissemination of findings. Examples from published studies and the facilitator’s applied practice in evaluation will be drawn upon to illustrate and reinforce key concepts.

The course is interactive and participatory. Participants are encouraged to bring their own examples and work through issues throughout the course. A set of handout notes will be provided to participants and case exemplars reviewed in class sessions.

Day One
Programme Evaluation: What is it? How does it differ from social research? The role of valuing in evaluation. Key evaluation types and approaches. The roles of internal and external evaluation. Key evaluation design considerations. Fostering the use and influence of evaluations. Using evaluation models to inform practice – social programming, valuing, knowledge construction, use and influence, and practice. The role for critical and participatory evaluation in diverse settings.

Day Two
Planning and Designing an Evaluation: Working with key stakeholders. The role of programme logic and programme theory in evaluation: What is programme logic and when is it helpful? How to facilitate a programme logic mapping session. Programme theory for complicated & complex social programmes. From initiation to final evaluation brief (or plan). Designing an evaluation plan: key components of an evaluation plan. The importance of identifying key audience information needs, and evaluation scope. Budgeting for an evaluation. Defining a limited set of key evaluation questions (KEQs).

Day Three
Reporting an evaluation and supporting use and influence. The 1, 5, 25 rule. Considerations in generating valid claims. Issues of rigour and relevance. The role of programme evaluation standards and core competencies in evaluation. Disseminating evaluation findings and influencing the use of evaluation. Practical tips to enhance the value of evaluation. Building a culture of evaluative thinking into public sector agencies – the role of monitoring and evaluation frameworks.


Patton MQ (2008). Utilization-focused evaluation (4th ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Torres RT, Preskil H, Piontek ME (2005). Evaluation strategies for communicating and reporting: Enhancing learning in organizations (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.