Key Factors of Program Evaluation

Published 16 Mar 2017

Evaluation is a process that is considered essential especially to groups or organizations that are administering a project or program. It determines the worth of the project, as well as assesses whether the goals of the program are being met (Trochim, 2006). Results of evaluation are used as basis for improvements for the people involved in the program in order to gain benefits and minimize loss (Love, 1991). As such, factors that may affect the program evaluation should be taken into consideration.

There are several factors that may affect the evaluation of the program. One of them is the attitude towards evaluation. In the event of an external evaluation, indifference on the part of respondents may affect that results which may not be of any help to the organization. It may even lead to stagnation rather than improvement, as indifference could mean lack of sincerity and clouded truth (Kozak et al, 2006).

Another factor is the funding source of a program evaluation. Hugely funded evaluations are commonly better than those done with lesser fund at the organizations’ disposal. With more in monetary terms, everything necessary for a fruitful program evaluation may be easily obtained. As such, a funding source which is not financially reliable in all aspects or an organization under strict budget may not achieve results that a financially stable evaluation may achieve (Kozak et al, 2006).

The third factor is methodological difficulties. Things like inability to interpret data, low response rate, and difficulty in acquiring contact information are under this heading. It must be emphasized that even with willing respondents for evaluation; results which are not properly interpreted are still considered as a waste of time. Conversely, even with very capable result interpreters, low turn-out of responses will render the evaluation as not entirely viable (Kozak et al, 2006).

The final key factor in program evaluation is the incentive or reward. Through the prospect of a good return of investment, especially in an internal program evaluation setting, respondents may willingly undergo evaluation. With the knowledge of it being of great help to the improvement of the project or program and achievement of the proposed goals, response rates may increase. As such, the evaluation will be a success with positive collaboration between evaluation specialists and respondents (Kozak et. al., 2006).

It may then be said that several factors may affect a program evaluation in many ways. These factors may lead either to a bitter ending or a fruitful success. With the former, improvement plans may be put to a constraint; while with the latter, it may be pursued and the end goals may be met.


  • Kozak, R., Morford, S., Suvedi, M. (2006). Factors Affecting Program Evaluation Behaviours of Natural Resource Extension Practitioners- Motivation and Capacity Building. Journal of Extension, 44.
  • Love, A.J. (1991). Internal Evaluation: Building Organizations from Within. California: SAGE
  • Trochim, M.K. (2006). Introduction to Evaluation. Web Centre for Research Methods.
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