Evaluation (disambiguation)

Evaluation or evaluation ( from Latin valere " strong, be worth ") means a proper and fair assessment.


Under evaluation is most often understood the evaluation of projects, processes and organizational units. In this context, structure, process, expenses and results can be involved. In general, can be described as the basic evaluation study to understand whether and to what extent something seems suitable to fulfill a desired purpose. In the parlance as evaluation, investigation and analysis are needed synonymous in terms of inventory without special purpose orientation.

Application areas of evaluation are as education, social work, public administration, business or policy advice. For an evaluation of data collected methodically and systematically documented, to make the investigation, the procedure and the results comprehensible and verifiable. Standard procedures for internal and external data collection are survey, observation, test, questionnaire, and material analysis. The assessment is done by comparing the actual values ​​determined previously with explicitly defined, operationalized and justified target values ​​based on specified indicators. Evaluation must meet certain quality criteria: in addition to the basic requirements of usefulness and objectivity of these are reliability, validity, economy and standardization.

Evaluation allows the retrospective effect control, predictive control and understanding of situations and processes. Based on the evaluation data examined processes can be adjusted and optimized. It differs depending on the time of use anticipatory or prospective evaluation (before ), in-process formative evaluation ( during) and results assessed summative evaluation (after ). With the research evaluation combines the quest for empirical verifiability, but it examines specific cases and practical.

Word origin

The word evaluation ( assessment and evaluation) was first used in the 19th century in French, with the beginning of the 20th century in English. In the U.S., it is in the modern understanding since the 1930s in use (since the Eight -Years - Study 1933-1941 by Ralph W. Tyler, and others). Tyler's behavior -based approach has been criticized and changed after the Sputnik shock in 1957 after the onset of education reform. In Germany the English word evaluation was acquired at the end of the 60s of this American tradition; important it was one published by Christoph Wulf collection of translations of English-language publications va in the context of curriculum research. The meaning of the word " review" was initially narrowed to the assessment, to the work of educational institutions ( curriculum development since the 30s ). Meanwhile, as in the U.S. for a long time, " evaluated " in other areas of social action in Germany.


Professionally conducted evaluations differ according to the following criteria Balzer of everyday Rating:

  • Based on clearly defined subject
  • Carried out by experts
  • Assessment based on precisely defined and open to established criteria ( Evaluations-/Bewertungskriterien )
  • Information extraction by empirical data collection
  • Systematic evaluation of information on the basis of certain rules

Balzer is different: "Evaluation is a process that " ... in which, after previously identified targets and explicitly related to the facts and reasoned criteria, an evaluation shall be valued This is done with the aid of social science methods by persons who are of this uniquely qualified The product of an evaluation process.. is the feedback of usable results in the form of descriptions, reasonable interpretations and recommendations to as many stakeholders and concerned parties in order to optimize the object of evaluation and to support future action. "

The assessment of individuals or institutions connected with (often negative ) sanctions is to be distinguished from the assessment of actions that will be examined for their effectiveness and may be referred to as an evaluation in the real sense. On the basis of an agreement on objectives, a baseline survey is carried out, it will then be planned measures by which the objectives are to be achieved. Then, measuring instruments / assessment criteria need to be developed with which one can check whether the measures have led to success. Maybe after intermediate surveys during the performance success of the action is checked to it to meet new target agreements and re-enter the cycle in a final survey. Affected are to become involved, so that the process is consensual and is not determined by foreign interests and unclear criteria.


There are essentially three different directions in the evaluation:

Oriented evaluation methods:

  • Objectives - Oriented Evaluation ( R. Tyler )
  • The methodological View ( Donald T. Campbell)
  • Evaluative Research (E. A. Suchman )
  • Causal Generalization ( T. Cook)
  • Theory Driven Evaluation ( H.-T. Chen )
  • Evaluation as Art (L. J. Cronbach )

Benefit-oriented evaluation

  • CIPP Model ( Stufflebeam D. L. )
  • Utilization -focused evaluation ( Patton M. Q. )
  • The Four Levels ( Donald Kirkpatrick )
  • Empowerment Evaluation ( D. Fat Man )

Rating oriented evaluation

  • Valuing (M. Scriven )
  • Responsive Evaluation ( R. E. Stake )
  • 4th Generation - Constructivist Evaluation ( Guba & Lincoln)
  • Adversery Evaluation ( Owens & Wolf)
  • Connoisseurship model (E. W. Eisner )


Bortz & Döring distinguish three types of methods:

  • Exploratory methods. They " serve the exploration of intervention processes and their effects. They aim at the formulation and operationalization of action hypotheses and help to identified the relevant variables and to operationalize. "
  • Population Descriptive methods. "Allow an assessment of the distribution and the background of facts and facilitate the definition of the target population. "
  • Hypothesis Examiners methods. You " test the influence of the studied intervention on meaningful action operationalized criteria. "

Andreas Gruschka formulated in 1976 during a college experiment stages in North Rhine -Westphalia, which has since been found in the manuals Input: "goodness criteria of evaluation are no longer primarily validity, reliability and objectivity, but communication, intervention, transparency and relevance. "

Methods for data collection and data processing are:

  • Observation methods
  • Experiment
  • Case Study
  • Questionnaire
  • Interview
  • Clinical Study
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Statistical Methods
  • Impact analysis


Important application areas are for example:

Quality Management

Evaluation has in Quality Management ( TQM, ISO 9000, 2Q, Q2E ) has long been a firm place. The EFQM model evaluation is eg required to record the results ( of work) with clients, employees and society. Evaluation functions as a feedback element for process control in the context of organizational and quality development. It is about checks whether the intervention actually the results or effects desired produce ( cause-effect relationship). It covers both subjective data on the perception of those affected, so the employees and customers, as well as objective performance indicators that can be logged internally within the company.

Along with the evaluation of the results of the EFQM model also calls for the direct evaluation of the processes, interventions and measures in the areas of leadership, strategy and human resources. Here, the method of self-evaluation is used to evaluate the processes and ultimately improve. The executives and employees of the company evaluate themselves, their teams and their organization itself based on predefined criteria. You use this especially for the quality management (QM ) developed, as objective, reliable and valid instruments and methods. Based on the data, estimates and receipts derived recommendations for action and change measures are derived.

Both the self - and foreign - evaluations can be supplemented by benchmarking and thus made meaningful. As a benchmark data are used from other similar organizations. They provide standards for the evaluation and interpretation of one's own values ​​and thus one's own situation. Ideally, the concrete allow contact with the best in the industry a common learning.

In addition to these purely internal evaluations and external evaluations are required for certification purposes: external independent auditors evaluate the organization using the same criteria and give their review. The traditional approaches of EFQM and ISO9000 are usually based on very linear cause-effect models. Examples of other approaches include the cybernetic approaches Fredmund Malik.


As a pedagogical or Andragogic technical term means Evaluation " the methodical capture and the reasoned evaluation of processes and outcomes for better understanding and designing a practical measure in education by action control, control and reflection. " Object of evaluation, processes and results in the field of its micro- teaching and macro- teaching. In addition, all programs can be evaluated.


Protecting the environment is far neither in the U.S. nor in Europe to the central application areas of evaluation. Social studies for the evaluation of environmental problems are some exceptions, especially in the area of energy consumption, noise protection and waste production even in the context of greater political programs rather rare.

One reason is certainly seen in the relatively low recognition of the social sciences with expert advice on environmental issues, what has changed fundamentally only given the lack of success of measures to increase environmental awareness in the nineties. After the formula to increase environmental awareness creates environmental awareness and environmental consciousness leads to a corresponding behavior through a variety of social scientific studies refuted and pointed out the importance of social factors in the environment-related individual behavior, the environmental debate for social scientific questions began to open and adopted increasingly of the opinion that environmental problems had to deal with purely technical solutions.

Currently, the demand for environmental evaluations is very much determined by the contracting authorities. The contracts relate primarily to the evaluation of policy programs or individual projects. In particular at international organizations are tendencies for the development of quality requirements to prepare an introduction of environmental evaluations as a control method in carrying out political process to recognize. In Germany so far best first steps in this direction at the federal and state level in the political authorities perceive. Due to the great importance of evaluations in the town and country planning an establishment of social science environmental evaluations through integration into existing, more technically oriented (planning) process, such as the environmental impact is even more likely to expect at regional and local levels. The private demand for environmental evaluations by both companies as well as by associations and civil society organizations, however, is still very low. Despite the development of environmental management systems ( eg EMAS ) an integration of the findings of social scientific evaluation in the quality management systems of the companies has not yet succeeded.

On the supply side at least partially dominated by government-funded research institutes to market. Institutions that have focused exclusively on conducting environmental evaluations, there is no case, however. Farthest goes here the development of the Center for Evaluation of Saarland University and the Centre for Sustainable Management ( CSM) der Universität Lüneburg.

Few have placed the emphasis of their activities on social science environmental evaluations also in private consulting. Here are examples as the Institute for Social- Ecological Research ( ISOE ) and the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (Iow ) to mention. In addition, introduced Environmental Sciences institutes such as the Wuppertal Institute, the Öko-Institut in Freiburg or IFEU in Heidelberg have expanded their range in the direction of social science research, but without seeing herein a primary business and make appropriate reconstruction work. Given the increasing demands arising from the model of " sustainable development" for the introduction of appropriate measures, but an expansive development of the market evaluation and a progressive professionalisation of the offer is to be expected in spite of the difficult situation in the environmental field.

International Development Cooperation

Evaluations in development cooperation have a long tradition. The focus is on evaluation of projects and programs.

The distinctive culture of evaluation within development cooperation is mainly due to the fact that the resources used in the context of projects and programs had to be justified to funders and always have.

Evaluation approaches in development cooperation are also strongly shaped by international agreements, in particular the Millennium Declaration and the Paris Declaration. The so-called "harmonization" as a universal principle of development cooperation is reflected for example in the call for Community evaluations of the actors down. In Germany, government organizations ' development cooperation from a single mold " have committed and are also aiming at a unified approach to evaluations. Partner countries are increasingly taking on the roles of the client and of the person doing of evaluation.

With regard to the objects of evaluation, then the focus shifts more and more from the output evaluation as credits towards evaluation of the effects ( outcomes and impacts ) of projects and programs in the field of development cooperation. Man working out with effect chains and sophisticated evaluation designs, such as the Logical Framework Matrix ( " logframe ").

Traditional evaluation concepts and methods that are based on linear causality models are, however, increasingly scrutinized and supplemented by cybernetic approaches or even repressed. A similar development, as it is currently taking place in the field of organizational development and evaluation. In addition to finding innovative (self -) evaluation methods ( eg learning helix) the ( further) development of science-based concepts appear as bases for evaluation, such as service quality or the quality of life concept appears particularly important. Compared to other industries, such as the education and the health and social services, is in development cooperation comparatively little scientific knowledge ( "evidence base" ) input into the evaluation.


The German DeGEval - Evaluation Society - has numerous methodological and sectoral working groups. She has published standards, recommendations and guidelines for planning and conducting evaluations. Its members are mainly from Germany and Austria.

At the international level, organizations such as the UN, EU, OECD, IMF, etc. GIZ own evaluation departments, each of which collect in addition to the handling of specific issues and general standards and methods, develop and process.

In addition, are in German-speaking especially research organizations such as the Center for Evaluation in the Saarland or the proEval in Austria, involved in the professionalization of evaluation.