The beauty of evaluation is its usefulness. Evaluation is everywhere, helping us to learn about and improve programs, initiatives, policies, priorities, strategies, projects, processes, and other areas of service, innovations and transformations in every field and sector. However, evaluators sometimes have trouble explaining their profession, and its value is not always understood.
To define and communicate the value of evaluation in Canada, and strengthen our community of practitioners, the CES Board of Directors, supported by consultation with members, developed this definition of evaluation:
Evaluation is the systematic assessment of the design, implementation or results of an initiative for the purposes of learning or decision-making.
To learn more about the process of defining evaluation in Canada, see the article, “Toward a Definition of Evaluation Within the Canadian Context: Who Knew This Would Be So Difficult?”, in the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, vol. 29, no. 3.
This definition is supported by the Competencies for Canadian Evaluators, the Program Evaluation Standards and the Guidance for Ethical Evaluation Practice.