What Is the Difference Between Research and Evaluation?

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What Is the Difference Between Research and Evaluation?

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What is the difference between research and evaluation? @FSGtweets discusses: http://ow.ly/2ysN303vViW
Monday, September 12, 2016 - 8:00am


What images come to mind when you hear the word evaluation? A teacher grading an exam? A dashboard or scorecard with outcomes highlighted in green, yellow, or red to show progress? A logic model mapping a program intervention to its intended outcomes? When asked about evaluation, fewer people tend to conjure images of a room full of people reflecting on and discussing data together. Or think of evaluation spurring an energizing collaborative conversation to visualize what a program hopes to achieve, and the assumptions and external factors that can help or hinder success.

The predominant mental model around evaluation does not account for the variety of evaluation purposes and approaches. And it doesn’t highlight the role of evaluation in strengthening collaboration, solving problems, or informing strategic decision-making.

In fact, there are many different ways that organizations get information to make better strategic decisions. Considering the various options around inquiry can help break through people's existing mental models of what evaluation is—or is not.

Read What Is the Difference Between Research and Evaluation? on FSG.org