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Conflicts of interests occur when evaluators' personal or financial relationships have the potential to influence the design, conduct, or reporting of an evaluation. Evaluators are hired because they are perceived to be independent and free from bias and thus able to provide an objective assessment of the value of a program or policy. Although no one is entirely free from bias, evaluators should be sensitive to the potential conflicts of interest that occur in many evaluations and be prepared to deal with these conflicts in a way that maintains the integrity of the evaluation.

Conflicts of interest are often defined in financial terms. For example, if an elected official awards a contract to a firm in which she or he holds a financial interest, the decision ...

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