Evaluate a program

Provides an understanding of whether the outcomes sought by a program of investment were actually achieved.

Business context

Government organisations continually develop new policy that aims to address an existing or emerging unmet need of society.

Implementing the policy often requires a significant commitment of resources and takes a long time. There is always a risk that the original need has changed or the original interventions no longer make sense in a changed environment.

This practice validates the ongoing need for the program and its design and, once complete, evaluates its effectiveness.The knowledge gained in this exercise is then used to inform the development of future policy.

Benefits of using this practice

This practice will assist those people involved in program evaluation to:

  • understand the logic that formed the foundation of the investment program;
  • direct or re-direct resources to ensure the policy intent is met;
  • evaluate the overall effectiveness of a program; and
  • provide new knowledge to those people responsible for developing policy.

General approach

There are two steps involved in this exercise. This practice assumes that a policy framework has been previously established using the practice Prioritise investment proposals.

  1. Problem definition (assumed to be completed)
  2. Benefit definition (assumed to be completed)
  3. Strategic response (assumed to be completed)
  4. Solution definition (assumed to be completed)
  5. Investment prioritisation
  6. Benefit validation
  7. Program effectiveness


The outputs of these steps are:

  • changes to the investment management documentation (as required); and
  • program evaluation report that also lists the lessons learned for future program design and management. The report assesses the effectiveness of a program of investment based on the benefits the investment delivered compared to those defined in the benefit management plan at the time the investment decision was made.
Reviewed 28/02/2018
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