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Policy Evaluation: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation

The term inputs refers to the resources made available to a program, policy, or curriculum to enable its operation. More precisely, inputs provide the antecedent conditions from which some programmatic activities are to occur and, as a consequence, achieve some predetermined objectives. Put simply, inputs are what get invested to do the work.

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.”

By Chi Yan Lam

Dr. Chi Yan Lam is a Credentialed Evaluator and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of evaluation at the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University; he is also a full-time evaluator practicing in public service. He specializes in evaluating large-scale, complex programs and incorporates multi-, mixed- and design methods in his evaluations to answer questions of importance to program administrators and policy makers working on educational and social programs. His articles on evaluation have been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Evaluation and the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation. He has been a holder of the professional designation in evaluation since 2014.

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