SOCS5501 Evaluation

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
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),
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.