Program Evaluation

IDevice Icon Purpose

Program evaluation is an equal and powerful component in Conflict Resolution Education. It is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer basic questions and to assess the worth of the program.

Program evaluations can reveal strengths and weaknesses and provide important feedback to the administrators and to the participants. It also provides guidance and standards regarding the effects of local variables and contexts. It describes the "best practices" of the program. Decision makers use program evaluation to answer questions regarding future allocation and the value of the program for the community.


A row of houses


iDevice icon Case Study
Mary Williams is the coordinator of her middle school’s peer mediation program. She’s coordinated the program for the past five years and has received some release time and a small budget of about $3,000 per year for training and supplies. While the program has seemed successful and well used, Mary has never had the time or skill to conduct an evaluation to prove what the program is accomplishing. Until this year she didn’t feel the need to do this because the program’s continuation seemed certain. And, Mary felt her time was better used keeping the program running than trying to evaluate it. Yet, last week, Mary’s principal asked her in for a sobering talk. The principal explained that the school is facing serious funding cuts and they need to justify every dollar spent. She asked Mary to give her a brief report about how students are using the peer mediation program and how they are benefiting from it.
This is a common story. How can Mary best respond? Does she have any support for continuation? What can be learned from this example about the importance of program evaluation?

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