Overcoming Our Negative Reputation: Evaluation Becomes Known as a Helping Profession

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date

Fall 2001


Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation


If I were to suddenly awaken in the year 2010, how would I describe the field of evaluation as I would like it to be? This is one of the main questions asked by the organizers of this special issue. I have come to believe it is an interesting and important question for us to ponder at this time. It has caused me considerable reflection and stimulated a stream of futuristic thoughts about our field. As I cull my musings, I see principle themes on evaluation theory, methods, ethics, professional issues and the like. I have decided to resist the strong temptation to take up one of those central topics one more time in this context. Rather, I see this volume as an opportunity to explore an issue that has bothered me for some time, and that seems particularly troublesome for some of my students who are about to embark upon a career in evaluation in the 21st century. The issue to which I am referring is the negative reputation of evaluators outside of our profession. After exploring this issue in some detail, I will share my vision of a picture-perfect future for evaluation in 2010—Evaluation Becomes Known as a Helping Profession.

Rights Information

© 2001 American Evaluation Association