A Transdisciplinary Model of Program Outcomes for Enhanced Evaluation Practice

Keywords: Evaluation, program outcomes, taxonomy, research on evaluation, measurement


Evaluation is a transdiscipline with a focus upon answering important questions about if programs, policies, and interventions are good, if they are leading to desirable outcomes while avoiding undesirable outcomes, and how they can be improved.  A unified taxonomy of evaluation-specific program outcomes has not yet been proposed and validated, though such a tool would be helpful for both scholars and practitioners.  Building from a grounded analysis of 75 programs and over 850 program outcomes, we present a taxonomy of nine (9) outcomes specific to evaluating programs and interventions: attitude, affect, behavior, cognition, status, relationship, biological, environmental, and economic.  We define key terms and directionality, flexible timeframes for measurement, and suggest specific fields that provide a helpful lens for understanding programs and improving evaluation practice.