Several types of evaluation can be used to assess diabetes prevention and management programs. Each type of
evaluation serves a different purpose, and the most appropriate type of evaluation depends on the stage of
program implementation. For a detailed overview of different evaluation designs and frameworks, see Evaluation Design in the Rural Community Health
Common types of evaluations used to assess diabetes programs include:
Formative evaluation – Assesses the feasibility and appropriateness of the program,
usually focusing on program materials and procedures. Formative evaluation provides information that can be
used to improve the program, either before it is fully implemented or in early phases of implementation.
Example: Barriers and facilitators to program effectiveness and adoption.
Process evaluation – Assesses the extent to which program activities have been
implemented as planned. Process evaluation can be conducted periodically during program implementation and
provides information on the types, quantity, and quality of activities or services provided.
Example: Strengths and weaknesses with program recruitment or the referral process.
Outcome evaluation – Measures the program's effect on the target population. Outcome
evaluation provides information on how well the program achieved its intended short- and long-term goals.
Example: Reduction in weight or HbA1c among program participants.
Impact evaluation – Measures the long-term results of the program. Impact evaluation
provides information on the broad impact of the program, including whether it achieved its intended results
and assessing any unintended results.
Example: Decrease in diabetes incidence in the population.
Economic (cost-benefit) evaluation – Compares the cost of a program to its benefits.
Information collected is used to support continued program operations, or to compare it with other projects
Example: Cost savings realized through use of community health workers or care managers.
Formative evaluation and process evaluation are conducted during program implementation, while outcome
evaluation, impact evaluation, and economic evaluation are conducted after full implementation, once programs
Resources to Learn More
Advancing the Science of Quality
Improvement Research and Evaluation: Diabetes Initiative
Presents an example of an evaluation of the Diabetes Initiative, a 30-month, multi-site program to improve
diabetes self-management, demonstrating how to design and conduct an evaluation specific to diabetes
Organization(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Types of Evaluation
Presents information about the different types and uses of evaluation that can be conducted for assessing
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention