National Institute of Justice National Institute of Justice. Research. Development. Evaluation. Office of Justice Programs
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Outcome Evaluation

A formal study that seeks to determine if a program is working. An outcome evaluation involves measuring change in the desired outcomes (e.g., changes in behaviors or changes in crime rates) before and after a program is implemented, and determines if those changes can be attributed to the program. Outcome evaluations can use many different research designs: randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental designs, time-series analysis, simple pre/posttest, etc. For, a program must be evaluated with at least one randomized controlled trial or quasi-experimental research design (with a comparison condition) in order for the outcome evaluation to be included in the program’s evidence base. See Program Review and Rating from Start to Finish for more information.