For DHHS, evaluation is the assessment of the performance (efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness) of DHHS programs or strategies through the analysis of data or information collected systematically and ethically, and the effective use of resulting information in strategic planning, program or policy decision making and program improvement. Evaluations serve one or more of the following objectives (Figure 2, Types of Evaluation):
- Enhance Program Effectiveness and support policy analysis — Determine the impact of DHHS programs on achieving intended goals and objectives and examine the impact of alternative policies on the future direction of DHHS programs or services.
- Improve Performance Measurement — Monitor annual progress in achieving departmental strategic and performance goals. We invest evaluation funds to develop and improve performance measurement systems and improve the quality of the data that support those systems. Performance measurement is a high priority for DHHS agencies. The emphasis during development, implementation, and refinement of programs is on results and specific measurements are required under the Government Performance and Results Act.
- Assess Environmental Factors — Seek to understand the forces of change in the health and human services environment that influence the success of our programs and the achievement of our goals and objectives. Such understanding allows us to adjust our strategies and continue to deliver effective health and human services.
- Strengthen Program Management and Development — Address the need of program managers to obtain information or data that will help them effectively design and manage programs more efficiently and ensure successful results. Focus on developmental or operational aspects of program activities and provide understanding of services delivered and populations served.
Types of Evaluation