Evaluation is about judging or comparing the merit or worth of something.
Evaluation can range from being very simple service evaluations to complex evaluative research projects. Each service will require a different approach depending on the purpose of the evaluation, evidence base, stage of development, context of the service, and the resources and timescales for the evaluation.
Evaluations can focus on implementation and learning (formative evaluation), how a service works (process evaluation) and whether it has worked (outcome or summative evaluation) – or all of these aspects over the life cycle of a project.
Evaluation is defined as:
“A study in which research procedures are used in a systematic way to judge the quality or worth of a service or intervention, providing evidence that can be used to improve it.”