Trying to build political dimensions into evaluation has blurred the distinction between policy analysis and policy evaluation. We do not dispute the importance of political context and values for evaluation or policy analysis, but we argue that evaluation and policy analysis are indeed different by definition, function and methodology. These differences are widely known but increasingly disregarded, especially at the stage of the presentation of findings. Evaluation tends to adopt the stance of the analyst in that it is being urged to make recommendations on policy choices within the narrow scope of answers based on evaluation questions, without the benefit of additional contextual information. The article compares policy evaluation and policy analysis in terms of conceptualization, research methods, problem definition and data presentation and argumentation. In presenting the differences between evaluation and analysis, we point to the dangers inherent in a lack of awareness of where the boundaries lie and what purpose they serve.
Evaluation: international journal of theory, research and practice
School of Public Policy and Administration

Geva-May, I. (Iris), & Pal, L. (1999). Good fences make good neighbours: Policy evaluation and policy analysis - exploring the differences. Evaluation: international journal of theory, research and practice, 5(3), 259–277. doi:10.1177/13563899922208986