Difference Between Research and Evaluation

Research vs Evaluation

Research and evaluation are important tools in the hands of researchers and educators to gain insight into new domains and to assess the efficacy and efficiency of a specific program or methodology. There are many similarities and overlapping between research and evaluation, to suggest they are almost interchangeable. However, there are many differences also in their form, purpose, and content that is made use of by experts to achieve different goals. Let us take a closer look.


Research is a systematic, logical, and rational activity that is undertaken by scientists and experts in humanities to gain knowledge and insight in various fields of studies. This body of knowledge is later used to develop applications and tools that make our life better and richer.

Research can be undertaken to prove hypothesis, theorems, works of earlier experts, or it can be undertaken to establish new theories and facts. Whether basic or applied, research is always helpful in expanding human knowledge. It is not that research can be done only in science subjects. On the contrary, much of the research and development work in the world is today being carried out in humanities and behavioral sciences to enrich and better human lives. The basic purpose behind all research is to expand human knowledge.


Evaluation is the procedure that aims at improving the performance or efficiency of individuals, groups, programs, policies and even governments around the world. Evaluation means a judgment or assessment. Any evaluation tool is so designed so as to answer questions pertaining to efficacy and efficiency of a system or an individual. It is only through unbiased evaluation that we come to know if a program is effective or ineffective.

Evaluation as a tool serves the purpose of knowing about how well a person or program is doing and what needs to be done to improve efficacy and efficiency. Evaluation of a program or policy can help the management to come up with solutions to the problems so that the performance levels can be improved.

What is the difference between Research and Evaluation?

• Evaluation is done to judge or assess the performance of a person, machine, program or a policy while research is done to gain knowledge in a particular field

• Evaluation makes judgment and assessment that is helpful for decision makers so that they can implement changes to improve efficacy and efficiency

• Research and evaluation both enhance our knowledge, but evaluation leads to changes that cause improvement whereas research is mostly undertaken to prove something

• Research is undertaken to generalize the findings from a small sample to a large section of the population. On the other hand, evaluation is done in particular situations and circumstances, and its findings are applicable for that situation only.