Evaluation in service of the public good: The views of one US American evaluator

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What are the proper roles of evaluation in our societies? What purposes and whose interests should evaluation serve? What contributions should evaluation make to the civic structures and social fabric of our communities? In this paper, I argue that the social practice of evaluation can not only provide credible data on the import and impact of social, educational and health programs, which is often understood as its primary role. But, in addition, evaluation itself can contribute to social betterment, to the well being of those our programs are designed to serve, and to the public good. An evaluation practice that is situated in service to the public good is an evaluation practice that is not just technically proficient, but is also politically and socially responsible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
JournalZeitschrift fur Evaluation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Democratic Evaluation
  • Evaluation Purposes
  • Public Good
  • Social Betterment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management
  • Education
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Applied Psychology


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