Evaluation Research Design

Evaluation Research Design

Program to evaluate is National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition

Policy Evaluation

The social program chosen for the purpose of this discussion is WIC: A Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.  WIC is a federally funded nutrition support program directed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (United States General Accounting Office, 2001).  This program has three nutrition services by activities: nutritional education, breastfeeding promotion and support, and health referrals.  The program philosophy or theory is “to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.”

Formulating Evaluation Questions
There are similar methodologies used in standard social research that policy evaluation employs (Web Center for Social Research Methods, 2006).  Since policy evaluation occurs within political and organizational contexts it necessitates proficiencies that are not usually needed in social research.  It includes sensitivity to a number of stakeholders, management aptitude, political expertise, and the process of working efficiently with groups.  Formulating evaluation questions is possible when program operations are well defined; the stakeholder’s insights are clear, as well as the program’s philosophy and rational (Flemming, 2014).

Evaluation Research Questions
What services are assisting women to safeguard their health?
Who needs to participate for program success?

Issue-based Questions
Why is breastfeeding important to women’s health?
What are the nutritional barriers that low-income women encounter?

Questions of Fact
What kind of training does the WIC staff receive?
How do women participate in the WIC program?

There are differences between the questions of evaluation research, issue-based, and questions of fact within the program evaluation process which also play important roles in the development.  Evaluation research questions provide a configuration for an evaluation, which leads to a suitable and thorough strategy, serving the basis for vital dialogues concerning those interested in the solutions and their utilization (Rossi, Lipsey, & Freeman, 2013).  Issue-based questions are investigative in nature and needed for development of the groundwork for understanding the program and its outcomes (Flemming, 2014).  Questions of fact are exploratory, and the answers help formulate the evaluation research questions.


Flemming, A. (2014, December 7). Week 5 Study Notes Public Policy and Evaluation MMPP 6281. Retrieved from Walden University Blackboard Learn: https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_6316913_1%26url%3D
Rossi, P. H., Lipsey, M. W., & Freeman, H. E. (2013). Tailoring Evaluations. In Evaluation, A Systematic Approach (p. 53). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publishing, Inc.
United States General Accounting Office. (2001). FOOD ASSISTANCE, Performance Measures for Assessing Three WIC Services. Washington D.C.: United States General Accounting Office.
Web Center for Social Research Methods. (2006, October 20). Research Methods Knowledge Base. Retrieved December 28, 2014, from Web Center for Social Research Methods: http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/intreval.php

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