Uncertainty about the nature of evaluation can lead to injury prevention programme evaluations being poorly resourced and poorly conducted. The aim of this paper is to demystify programme evaluation and, by stressing its function, offer a perspective on evaluation that may encourage its more widespread integration in the general activity of injury prevention and control. Programme evaluation is best understood simply as the process of getting answers to essential questions about a programme. Methodology used in evaluation needs to be based in empirical science but is otherwise unrestricted except by the chosen question and the practical circumstances relating to the programme and the community in which it is implemented. Discussion about which methodology is appropriate for evaluation research is (unwittingly) a debate about 'which questions should you be asking?'. If the right people ask the right (and properly formulated) questions and build the means of obtaining the information to answer these questions (using appropriate methodology) into the conduct of the programme then evaluation will no longer be a problem but an essential component of the overall effort to reduce the community burden of injury.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2005|