Outcomes Evaluation (Summative Evaluation)
An outcomes evaluation addresses the results of a program. Using varied methods (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods) data are analyzed to determine the impact and effectiveness of a program and whether or not expected results were achieved. Results of an outcomes evaluation could be used to determine whether a program is effective short and/or long term, for certain types of participants only, or for some targeted outcomes but not others. Results of the evaluation can be used to assess current practices and areas for improvement, and where resources are best utilized. Additionally, results contribute to a broader scientific knowledge base in relation to current theory and practice, and may lead to new insights, questions, and programs to be tested.
Process Evaluation (Formative Evaluation)
A process evaluation addresses how a project or program is implemented and delivered. Through varied methods (both quantitative and qualitative), a process evaluation seeks to understand what, where, when, and how activities occur and whether the project or program is being delivered as intended (e.g., are target populations being reached and receiving intended services by qualified personnel?). Because even the most effective programs may not demonstrate desired results if not implemented as intended, a process evaluation helps identify issues throughout program implementation which may then suggest and result in corrective actions. Additionally, results of the evaluation can be examined to understand factors that may contribute to or hinder project/program success.