Recent United States Experiences In Evaluation Research With Implications For Latin America

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Book Chapter

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Evaluating The Impact Of Nutrition And Health Programs


This chapter is intended to define and illustrate “evaluation” and to describe some lessons that have been learned over the last ten years by persons conducting evaluation research in the United States. Our hope is that these lessons will prove useful for those who commission or conduct evaluations of nutrition-related projects in lesser developed countries, especially Latin America. The lessons are relevant to: a. Deciding which projects are or are not worth evaluating; b. Determining who should ask the evaluation questions; c. Deciding who should conduct the evaluations; d. Determining whether random assignment to treatments is possible and where it is not possible; e. Ascertaining which qua si-experimental or nonexperimental designs can be implemented; f. Deciding upon the measures of project or program impact; g. Measuring the extent to which a promised treatment has actually been delivered; h. Ascertaining the extent to which the findings from evaluating a single project or program can be generalized to other settings, times, service providers, and service recipients; and i. Determining the relative emphasis to be given to “summative” and “formative” goals.