Program evaluation emerged as a professional field in the United States during the 1960s with the expansion of social programs during that period. Although evaluation is a discipline in its own right, practitioners often receive training in other fields before embarking on a career in program evaluation. Program evaluation can be described as the application of social science research methods to the assessment of "the conceptualization, design, implementation, and utility of...social intervention programs" (Rossi & Freeman, 1993, p.5). Program evaluation makes use of a range of methods and draws from a range of methodologies used by social science researchers; however, a program evaluation effort tends to be more focused, concentrating as it does on a project or program for the purpose of improvement or assessing the merit or worth of an intervention.
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