Assessing Social Program Impact Evaluations:

A Checklist Approach

PAD-79-2: Published: Oct 1, 1978. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 1978.

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Growth in the federal program evaluation industry has been rapid and largely uncontrolled. Methods for ensuring the accountability of evaluators are inadequate, and evaluation quality standards are lacking. Social program impact evaluations should meet minimum criteria of relevance, significance, validity, reliability, objectivity, and timeliness. GAO's exposure draft of a checklist evaluation method is designed to provide a systematic and practical framework for organizing the evidence necessary to support such assessments. The checklist may be applied to evaluation planning, data collection and analysis, and data disclosure. An extensive cross-referenced bibliography to the checklist is included.

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