Evaluation and research differ in degree along dimensions of generalizations of both particularization and generalization as well as decision oriented and conclusion oriented that serve as the basis of distinctions. The essay further includes different functions of both evaluation and research and asserts that the use of research methods have prevented evaluation from becoming an independent discipline.
Research and evaluation have almost similar features focusing on the shared objectives of responding to questions. Evaluation tends to improve the existing program for the target population but research always tends to prove a theory or hypothesis. Both evaluation and research use similar data collection and analysis methods but diverge during use and dissemination (Wadsworth, 2010). The evaluation may be said to be a subset of research because conducting it requires incorporation of basic constructs of research and must balance the needs to remain objective and the expectations to make recommendations as required. However, the main purpose of research is to enhance understanding, knowledge, and eventually providing results going beyond an individual program or project. This paper examines the differences and similarities between research and evaluation by providing a few examples to strengthen the points. Although research and evaluation are interconnected, there are differences between the two disciplines.
Considering the similarities between research and evaluation, it is clear that the application of the examination is always as wide as possible. It is also worth noting that the borders between research and evaluation are not clear and there are, of course, many points where research and evaluation overlap. Wadsworth (2010) explains that some of the commonalities between research and evaluation based on purpose, methods, and results.