Evaluative Research: Definition, Examples

evaluative researchEvaluative research, as the name applies, is concerned with the evaluation of such occurrences as social and organizational programs or intervention. The essential question that is typically asked by such studies is: has the response (e.g., a new policy initiative or an organizational change) achieved its anticipated goals.

A typical design used for the evaluation may consist of one group that is exposed to the treatment (i.e., the new initiative) and a control group that is not.

Since it is often not possible or ethical to randomly assign research participants to the two groups, such studies are usually quasi-experimental.

[ A detailed exposition of this design is undertaken in chapter four ]

Very often, health and family planning activities are implemented for years but never assessed.

In such cases, evaluative research can be a valuable approach for examining retrospectively or cross-sectionally the effect of the program activities.

These studies attempt to;

  1. assess the implemented activities and examine the short-time effects of these activities,
  2. determine the impact of a program and
  3. evaluate the success of the intervention.

Examples of Evaluative Research

Example #1

Goiter is highly prevalent in many parts of Bangladesh. UNICEF, Bangladesh initiated a lipiodol injection campaign in some selected Upazila in 1989.

After two years, the impact of this campaign was evaluated. The results were compared with another area where no such attack was launched.

Example #2

NETZ Partnership for Development and Justice (a German NGO) has been working in Bangladesh in the field of development in cooperation with the local NGOs since 1989.

NETZ supports to accelerate the changes in the living and environmental conditions of society’s most neglected and underprivileged people.

The main thrust of programs run by NETZ is to bring about changes in the situation of children, widows, landless families, ethnic minorities, small farmers, fishermen to make them capable of finding ways and means to live with dignity in the society.

NETZ has been implementing the Income and Food Security for Ultra Poor (IFSUP) Project in collaboration with 3 local NGOs with financial support from the European Union.

The project started its operation in January 2007 in 6 Upazilas under Rangpur, Joypurhat and Netrokona districts.

The project authority conducted a baseline survey in 2007, following which two studies, one in 2009, and the next in 2013, were conducted to evaluate the impact of the program interventions.

It may be worth mentioning here that the 2009 survey consisted of a control group that did not receive the program intervention to evaluate the program intervention.

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