Key Points

· Although there has been a growing emphasis on use of experimental designs in evaluation, there is also increasing agreement that evaluation designs should be situation specific.

· The nature of the program is one of the key factors to consider in evaluation design.

· Two types of programs – models, which provide replicable or semi-standardized solutions, adaptive initiatives, which are flexible programming strategies used to address problems that require unique, context-based solutions – require different evaluation designs.

· Evaluation of models requires understanding the stage of development of the model program, with summative evaluation done only when the model is fully developed.

· Adaptive initiatives require consideration of both the timing and scale of the initiative in determining the appropriate evaluation design.

Open Access