Formative and Summative Evaluation

Formative Evaluation

Formative Evaluation = Process-focussed

Formative evaluations are process-focussed in that they attempt to understand whether the collaboration and/or the service/program provided is/are performing as intended.

Process focussed questions

Conducting a formative evaluation promotes a better understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and why. This provides opportunities to improve the service/program and its implementation.

Formative evaluation is useful anytime, but particularly when the collaboration is in the start-up phase. This is particularly important for the purpose of quality improvement and efficiency.

Summative Evaluation

Summative Evaluation = Outcomes-focussed

Summative evaluations are outcome-focussed in that they provide a means to find out whether a collaboration and/or a service/program has/have reached its goals, objectives, and outcomes.

Outcome focussed questions

Summative evaluations allow development of an understanding of what/how/why the service/program has achieved. Like formative evaluations, summative evaluations provide opportunities to improve the service or program and its implementation.

Summative evaluations are useful for measuring short, intermediate, and long-term outcomes and impacts of the collaboration.