GAO BOOKS, free

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Designing Evaluations, 2012 Revision (Supersedes PEMD-10.1.4), GAO-12-208G, Jan 31, 2012   http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-208G   This methodology transfer paper addresses the logic of program evaluation designs. It introduces key issues in planning evaluation studies of federal programs to best meet decision makersí needs while accounting for the constraints evaluators face. It describes different types of evaluations for answering varied questions about program performance, the process of designing evaluation studies, and key issues to consider toward ensuring overall study quality.


Program Evaluation: A Variety of Rigorous Methods Can Help Identify Effective Interventions
GAO-10-30 November 23, 2009   http://www.gao.gov/Products/GAO-10-30   Several rigorous alternatives to randomized experiments are considered appropriate for other situations: quasi-experimental comparison group studies, statistical analyses of observational data, and--in some circumstances--in-depth case studies. The credibility of their estimates of program effects relies on how well the studies' designs rule out competing causal explanations. Collecting additional data and targeting comparisons can help rule out other explanations. GAO concludes that (1) requiring evidence from randomized studies as sole proof of effectiveness will likely exclude many potentially effective and worthwhile practices

You can find a list of some of their available material at
Special Publications: Evaluation Research and Methodology 
http://www.gao.gov/special.pubs/erm.html

Including these

Case Study Evaluations PEMD-10.1.9, November 1990   summary here   http://www.gao.gov/products/PEMD-10.1.9   

The Evaluation Synthesis PEMD-10.1.2, March 1992   summary here   http://www.gao.gov/products/PEMD-10.1.2  full report here   http://www.gao.gov/special.pubs/pe1012.pdf 

Performance Measurement and Evaluation: Definitions and Relationships. GAO-11-646SP  May 2, 2011.  http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11646sp.pdf  

Prospective Evaluation Methods: The Prospective Evaluation Synthesis. PEMD-10.1.10. November 1990. Guidance.  77 pp. plus 3 appendices (21 pp.)     http://www.gao.gov/special.pubs/pe10110.pdf   

Quantitative Data Analysis: An Introduction. PEMD-10.1.11. June 1992. Guidance. 110 pp   summary here   http://www.gao.gov/products/PEMD-10.1.11   full report here     http://www.gao.gov/special.pubs/pe10111.pdf 

Using Structured Interviewing Techniques. PEMD-10.1.5. July 1991. Guidance. 92 pp.   http://www.gao.gov/special.pubs/pe1015.pdf 
    abstract here   http://www.gao.gov/products/PEMD-10.1.4  


A couple of other books at the GAO website not listed there are these.

Developing and Using Questionnaires PEMD-10.1.7 October 1993 238 pp.   summary here   http://www.gao.gov/products/PEMD-10.1.7  Old, but still very good.

Using Statistical Sampling, PEMD-10.1.6, from 1992.  summary here   http://www.gao.gov/products/PEMD-10.1.6     

Content Analysis: A Methodology for Structuring and Analyzing Written Material. PEMD-10.3.1. September 1, 1996. Guidance. 57 pp.    http://www.gao.gov/products/PEMD-10.3.1  


last checked 2/11/13
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