Evaluation Type Definitions2
Needs Assessment - a systematic process for collecting information that identifies key health needs and issues within a specific group or community. Needs assessment is conducted prior to the development of new policies, programs or initiatives and also when existing activities are being modified or used in a new setting or with a different target audience to determine which needs should be addressed and how.
Literature review - a systematic process of collecting information about a specific topic or issue through the review of studies/literature to determine if there is scientific evidence and/or theory to support that proposed program activities will result in desired outcomes.
Process evaluation - the systematic collection of information to determine the extent to which policies, programs, or initiatives have been implemented as intended and to which program improvements are need to implement it as planned. Process evaluation is conducted at the inception of the policy, program, or initiative, and periodically throughout its life cycle and is a critical element of the quality and/or process improvement cycle.
Cost-effectiveness evaluation - a systematic process for identifying resources being used to implement a policy, program, or initiative and their costs (direct and indirect) to determine if substantiated outcomes justify the allocation of Army resources. Cost-effectiveness evaluation is conducted at inception of the policy, program or initiative and periodically throughout its life cycle.
Outcome evaluation - a systematic process for collecting information to determine the degree to which, if at all, a policy, program or initiative is affecting the intended target population(s) and whether or not program improvements are needed to achieve intended outcomes. Outcome evaluation is conducted after program activities have been implemented among the intended target population(s).
Impact evaluation - a systematic process for collecting information to determine whether or not an initiative or program is effective in achieving its ultimate goals. Impact evaluation is conducted periodically throughout the life cycle of an initiative or program and at the end of the program.
1. Adapted from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Types of Evaluation
website. Date accessed 31 July 2018.
2. Definitions adapted from
Department of Army Pamphlet 40-11 (Army Public Health).
Back to Top