Suggested Citation: Lam, C. Y. (2018). Policy evaluation. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation (pp. 1258-1261). Thousand Oaks, SAGE.
“Policy evaluation refers to the systematic investigation and determination of value of a policy— and can take place in various sectors, including education. Policy evaluators apply evaluation methodologies and employ social scientific research methodologies to answer evaluation questions in support of policy making, policy development, and policy decision making. Policy evaluation is rarely undertaken for its own sake but mostly conducted in connection to the policy cycle. Because of the inherent political nature of policies, policy evaluation is increasingly undertaken by policy actors—both governmental and nongovernmental parties— with interests in shaping the political agenda. Hence, awareness into both the technical and political dimensions of policy evaluation is important to its understanding and execution.”