Ethical Considerations in Evaluation

Ethical Considerations in Evaluation

Program evaluation can take place in diverse settings. While program evaluation may not be considered research (and therefore may not require IRB oversight), it may still include collecting sensitive data from different populations. An ethically grounded evaluation will work to protect the rights of the study participants.

What do we mean by ethics?

Ethics are the moral principles and values that guide our behavior and decisions. Going beyond our preferences, ethics guide our behavior when it affects another individual’s well-being.

Often, our personal ethics help us decide between a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ action. They also assist us in deciding between two good choices, when it may be difficult to see the best course of action.

A good rule of thumb is that the relationship between the evaluator and study participants should be characterized by

  • Honesty
  • Truth
  • Respect


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