Evaluation Standards

Program Evaluation Standards

Professional program evaluators are guided by a set of professional standards in five areas: utility, feasibility, propriety, accuracy, and accountability. Supported by the American Evaluation Association, they take into account and provide guidance on how information will be used and by whom, designing achievable and meaningful studies that are carried out in ways that are legal and fair, using good project and fiscal management judgment, and ensuring unbiased and replicable studies that are supported with credible resources, documentation, and data. Taken as a whole, the standards steer evaluators to produce evaluations that are meaningful, credible, objective, efficient, and fair. The Indikus team carefully adheres to the program evaluation standards in every project. We also participate in American Evaluation Association trainings and discussions regarding the standards.


Utility standards are intended to increase the extent to which program stakeholders find evaluation processes and products valuable in meeting their needs. They ensure that evaluations include:

  • Program Evaluator Credibility
  • Attention to Stakeholders
  • Negotiated Purposes
  • Explicit Values
  • Relevant Information
  • Meaningful Processes and Products
  • Timely, Appropriate Reporting
  • Concern for Consequences and Influence


The feasibility standards help ensure that the program evaluation is effective and efficient. They improve the quality of the evaluation’s:

  • Practical Procedures
  • Contextual Viability
  • Use of Resources


The proprietary standards support what is proper, fair, legal, right and just in a program evaluation. These standards address potential issues related to the evaluation’s:

  • Responsiveness and Inclusive Orientation
  • Formal Agreements
  • Human Rights and Respect
  • Clarity and Fairness
  • Transparency and Disclosure
  • Conflicts of Interests
  • Fiscal Responsibility

Program evaluation standards by Indikus.ACCURACY STANDARDS

Accuracy standards focus on the dependability and truthfulness of program evaluation representations, propositions, and findings, especially those that support interpretations and judgments about quality. They ensure that evaluations contain:

  • Justified Conclusions and Decisions
  • Valid Information
  • Reliable Information
  • Explicit Program and Context Descriptions Sound Information Management
  • Sound Designs and Analyses
  • Explicit Evaluation Reasoning
  • Proper Communication and Reporting


Accountability standards provide for comprehensive documentation of evaluations and focus on continuously improving program evaluation processes and products. They include:

  • Program Evaluation Documentation
  • Internal Metaevaluation
  • External Metaevaluation
  • Proper Communication and Reporting

Program Evaluation Process model adapted from Yarbrough, D. B., Shulha, L. M., Hopson, R. K., and Caruthers, F. A. (2011). The program evaluation standards: A guide for evaluators and evaluation users (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Indikus’ program evaluators and planning professionals adhere to a set of principles:

Making sure we thoroughly understand what clients need.

Garnering valuable insights through detailed, holistic analyses.

Engaging stakeholders to be involved throughout the process.

Producing implementable and measurably effective goals.

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