Evaluation Glossary

Goal-Free Evaluation

An evaluation approach that rests on the premise that an evaluation should examine the value of a program by investigating what it is doing rather than what the program's goals are. More emphasis is placed on ways in which a program meets the needs of target clients rather than what managers and planners assert to be their intentions.


Scriven, M. (1976). Pros and cons about goal-free evaluation. In G. Glass (Ed.), Evaluation studies review annual (Vol.1). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

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