Assessing Program Evaluability

Heather Jennings Clawson, Caliber Associates
Richard M. Titus, National Institute of Justice

ABSTRACT
Evaluability assessments are most commonly thought of in connection with decisions on whether evaluations of existing programs are likely to be productive, given program characteristics such as program administration, data availability and quality, etc. We argue that the evaluability assessment approach can be extended to evaluations, and programs, that haven't yet been started. For a given program, what elements will set the limits on how accurately we can measure its performance and impact, or whether we can do so at all? What will be the incremental costs of incremental increases in rigor? How can we determine an optimal allocation of evaluation resources in a particular instance?

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Updated 05/20/2006