This course will introduce students to a variety of approaches used to evaluate social service organizations, programs and policies. The course will begin with an overview of the different roles evaluative research can play in informing policy and practice and the very real empirical and political barriers that limit the ultimate utility of rational decision making. Students will learn to frame evaluation questions and to match appropriate evaluation strategies to those of primary interest to key stakeholders such as program managers, boards of directors, funders, and policymakers. Issues of research design, measurement, human subjects' protection, data interpretation, and presentation of findings will be discussed. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to conduct critical analysis, including identifying the role values play in shaping the evaluation process and influencing key findings.