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Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation

Course Number
5100 (Social and Behavioural Health Science)
Course Instructor(s)
Kate Mulligan

Course Description

Program evaluation is a core competency in public health. This course will introduce students to the theories, approaches, methods, innovations and related to program evaluation. Designed as a practice-oriented course, this course will assist learners to develop evaluation and professional skills necessary to design and procure program evaluations.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

1)      To describe the history and evolution of program evaluation

2)      To describe a program and its theory of change

3)      Describe, assess and choose between different approaches to program evaluation

4)      Design an evaluation plan for a real-world program and work with an external client.

Methods of Assessment

This course includes 4 assignments.

Assignments Weight
1.       Program theory of change 20%
2.       Compare and contrast 2 evaluation approaches 30%
3.       Group work contract no grade

4.       Evaluation plan

·         Presentation 10%

·         Evaluation plan 35%

·         Feedback from mentor 5%


 Overview of weekly topics 

Week Topic Instructor

Overview of the course

Evaluation – origins and generations

2 Theory of Change and Logic Models Jackie
3 Purposes, types and designs of evaluation Carol

Utilization focussed – 4th generation

*Assignment 1 is due *

5 Process and Outcome evaluation Carol
6 Realist evaluation and developmental evaluation


Guest speaker:

Dr. Juando-Prats

7 Reading week

Policy and advocacy evaluation

Divide class into evaluation teams and prepare Group Work Contract

* Assignment 2 is due*

? NEW?? Integrated program planning and evaluation Carol

Program Mentor – presentations

Meet your client

Carol and Guest Mentors
10 Each team meets with instructor to discuss preliminary design considerations Carol
11 Meet with your client – location to be determine in consultation with your assigned mentor Guest Mentors
12 Present evaluation design to the clients / class Carol and Guest Mentors
13 *Assignment 3 is due* – deliver to Carol’s office HS 564

General Requirements

  • Students are recommended to have completed a graduate level course in statistics and/or research design in order to derive the most benefit from the course content.