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evaluation terminology

STUDY
PLAY
activities/strategies
what a program or organization does with its resources to fulfill its mission, such as sheltering and feeding homeless families
attribution
the process of identifying the single or multiple factors responsible for an observed outcome; for example, program participation reduced stress by 50%
benchmark/ performance target
desired level of an indicator, possibly within a given time frame for example, reduce child abuse by 25% the year 2000
conceptual framework/ model
pictorial representation of the most critical elements underlying a programs operation and expected outcomes. Identifies critical areas for evaluation
Control/ Comparison group
in an evaluation involving two or more groups, the group that does not receive the full program or treatment that is the focus of the evaluation. A control group receives no program. A comparison group may receive some program, but not the program being evaluated
Context/ contextual factors
factors outside the control of a program or project that might have an impact on its effectiveness, for example, unique characteristics