Program Evaluation and Program Management

Gao ID: 116440 August 1, 1981

The process of program evaluation is an effort to judge the extent and efficiency of accomplishment and to find ways of improving it. The object of any evaluation is to affect the program itself. This is done by affecting the decisions which are being made about that program. Therefore, program evaluation and program management must be linked together for either to perform effectively. The first task of the evaluator is to define a question to which an answer, useful to an identified client, can be produced within available time and resources. After the user and question are identified, the evaluator uses all available means to compile the desired information. The next step is to interface the information back into the system from which the question arose. This requires communication skills that program managers and evaluators often do not possess. Managers are well-advised to: (1) ensure that evaluation is pursued aggressively; (2) see that it is as balanced and objective as possible; (3) deal effectively with the problems it brings to their attention; and (4) take pride in the accomplishments it reveals.

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.