Improvement refers to the act of making something better in some way—more efficient, productive, cost effective, and so on. In evaluation, formative evaluation is evaluation done for improvement because it provides information to enable program staff to make appropriate improvements (additions or changes) before a summative evaluation measures outcomes for an external audience of funders or other decision makers. Data for improvement come in a variety of forms, both quantitative and qualitative, including the following: interviews, surveys, observations, and document analyses. Due to the interactive nature of evaluation, improvement may also come from participants' involvement in the evaluation process.

Jean A.King
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