SOCS5501 Evaluation

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 5 elective
  • Honours option in Political Science and International Relations [Bachelor of Arts (Honours)]
How do you know whether a policy, project or program has worked? Evaluation involves a structured process whereby the success of a social policy, program, or enterprise, can be assessed. Best practice requires that all projects, whether government, NGO or industry funded, include an evaluation component. This unit provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of social policies, programs and enterprises. It covers a range of tools and techniques, including program evaluation, rapid rural appraisal, participatory action research, photovoice and more. Students are taken through the process of planning evaluations, from determining what measures are used (e.g. quantitative and qualitative), and what is taken to constitute success, to reflexive learning based on outcomes. It covers formative and summative evaluation. The unit is useful for anyone working in community development, international development, policy development, governance, service delivery, criminology, public health and social research more generally.
Students are able to (1) appreciate the importance of evaluation in policy and program development; (2) understand the key concepts of and approaches to evaluation; (3) identify a range of evaluation tools and their appropriate uses; (4) design an evaluation of a social policy program or project; (5) critically evaluate the quality of evaluations across a range of contexts; (6) identify and address a range of ethical considerations in undertaking evaluation research; and (7) positively engage in group work.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) essay; (2) assignment; and (3) participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Jeannette Taylor
Contact hours
Taught intensively over 6 weeks (second half of S1),
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.