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Policy Evaluation

Policy strategies are one way to address injury and violence prevention at a population-based level. Although policy has been used effectively in some areas of injury and violence prevention, policy strategies in some areas lack a sufficient evidence base. Policy evaluation can establish or improve this evidence base and serve an important purpose along the entire chain of the policy process. NCIPC developed this series of briefs to increase the use of policy evaluation methods in the field of injury prevention and control.

The briefs and related appendices are intended to provide an increased understanding of the concepts and methodologies of policy evaluation. They are not intended to provide a “how-to” but rather to provide a solid foundation for exploring the utility of policy evaluation as a methodology and an overview of the critical steps and considerations throughout the process. Each of the briefs focuses on one specific aspect of policy evaluation; however, reading them all will provide a comprehensive overview of policy evaluation concepts and methodology. The appendices provide additional detail on specific topics.

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Evaluation Briefs and Appendices


Provides an introduction to the basic concept of policy evaluation, including its relationship to the policy process and the underlying evaluation framework. A graphic of the evaluation framework, provided at the top of each brief, highlights which of the steps are discussed in that particular brief.

Brief 1: Overview of Policy Evaluation [PDF 630 KB]


Outlines the first three steps in preparing for and planning a policy evaluation: engaging stakeholders, describing the program, and focusing the evaluation. Also discusses the process of developing an evaluation plan.

Brief 2: Planning For Policy Evaluation [PDF 619 KB]

Evaluating Content

Overview of policy content evaluation, which focuses on the content of the policy and understanding the context of policy development.

Brief 3: Evaluating Policy Content [PDF 621 KB]

Evaluating Implementation

Overview of implementation evaluation, which looks at how a policy was implemented including critical differences between planned and actual implementation.

Brief 4: Evaluating Policy Implementation [PDF 601 KB]

Evaluating Impact

Overview of policy impact evaluation, which aims to determine whether intended changes have occurred and whether those changes can be attributed to the policy.

Brief 5: Evaluating Policy Impact [PDF 653 KB]

Data Considerations

Suggestions for identifying, collecting and analyzing data. In addition, it provides suggestions for interpretation of results once analyses are completed.

Brief 6: Policy Evaluation Data Considerations [PDF 400 KB]

Applying Results

Key suggestions for effectively applying and communicating the results of the evaluation.

Brief 7: Applying Policy Evaluation Results [PDF 310 KB]



Twenty-two appendices are provided to enhance understanding of policy evaluation and aid in planning and implementing policy evaluation.

Policy Evaluation Appendices [PDF 2.23 MB]