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"Evaluation: A Systematic Approach, now in its seventh edition, has assumed the role of a true classic in its domain."

Since Peter H. Rossi, Mark W. Lipsey, and Howard E. Freeman first published Evaluation: A Systematic Approach, more than 100,000 readers have considered it the premier text on how to design, implement, and appraise social programs through evaluation. In this completely revised Seventh Edition, the authors include the latest techniques and approaches to evaluation as well as guidelines to tailor evaluations to fit programs and social contexts.

This bestselling text covers the full range of evaluation topics, including:

- Framing evaluation questions

- Uncovering program theory

- Studying implementation

- Designing impact assessments

- Assessing program costs and benefits

- Understanding the politics of evaluating

With decades of hands-on experience conducting evaluations, the authors provide scores of examples to help students understand how evaluators deal with various critical issues. They include a glossary of key terms and concepts, making this the most comprehensive and authoritative evaluation text available.

Thoroughly revised, the Seventh Edition now includes:

- Substantially more attention to outcome measurement

- Lengthy discussions of program theory, including a section about detecting program effects and interpreting their practical significance

- An augmented and updated discussion of major evaluation designs

- A detailed exposition of meta-analysis as an approach to the synthesis of evaluation studies

- Alternative approaches to evaluation

- Examples of successful evaluations

- Discussions of the political and social contexts of evaluation.


About the Authors
1. An Overview of Program Evaluation
2. Tailoring Evaluations
3. Identifying Issues and Formulating Questions
4. Assessing the Need for a Program
5. Expressing and Assessing Program Theory
6. Assessing and Monitoring Program Process
7. Measuring and Monitoring Program Outcomes
8. Assessing Program Impact: Randomized Field Experiments
9. Assessing Program Impact: Alternative Designs
10. Detecting, Interpreting, and Analyzing Program Effects
11. Measuring Efficiency
12. The Social Context of Evaluation
Author Index
Subject Index

"What sets this book apart is the sheer comprehensiveness resulting from almost four decades of research and refinements though seven editions. It is suitable for use in teaching senior undergraduate and graduate students in a range of fields and disciplines as well as experienced evolution practitioners. It is also useful to those who are interested in resolving, or being able to understand and address theoretical and methodological issues that are inherent in any evaluation study."

Daniela C. Schroter, Western Michigan University
The Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation

Very helpful for beginners in evaluation.

Dr Yvonne Larrier
School Of Education, Indiana University-South Bend
April 21, 2015

This book was the best choice for the new class I am developing, Program Evaluation: Theory to Practice at my University.

Dr Jeff Kirk
Psychology & Counseling, Texas A & M University--Central Texas
November 1, 2014

Rossi and Lipsey book is a solid graduate level text. Yet, the lack of visuals (charts, tables, matrices, etc.) and more clearly marked organization within chapters does not match the needs of the students I teach.

Dr Walter Hightower
Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership, Brandman University
October 27, 2014


Dr Wayne Thompson
Soc Criminal Justice Dept, Texas A & M University - Commerce
September 25, 2013

a good and interesting book with a lot of good information for advanced students

Professor Armin Schneider
Social Work , Koblenz Univerity of Applied Sciences
January 10, 2013

a good and interesting book with essential knowledge about evaluation

Professor Armin Schneider
Social Work , Koblenz Univerity of Applied Sciences
January 10, 2013

I went with another book, Program Evaluation by McDavid and Howthorn bec the class was an accelerated on-line course.l

Dr Deborah Wright
Public Policy Admin Dept, Rutgers University
September 16, 2012

Very happy with the text

Dr Peter Gleason
School Of Public Health, Loma Linda University
July 19, 2012

It was the best textbook for my undergraduate course.

Dr Paul Madak
Psychology, Univ of Northern British Columbia
March 12, 2012
Key features
  • This is a comprehensive text that covers the full range of evaluation efforts including such topics as: How to frame evaluation questions; Uncovering program theory; Studying implementation; Designing impact assessments; Assessing program costs and benefits; and, Understanding the politics of evaluating.
  • The text provides scores of actual examples of how evaluators have dealt with critical evaluation issues.
  • The authors draw upon their decades of hands-on experience in conducting evaluations.
  • The book is written clearly, with all key concepts defined and summarized in a glossary that can serve as a reference.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch 1 An Overview of Program Evaluation

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