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Droplet falling into water and forming ripple pattern.

This type of evaluation answers the questions, "Is my program producing long-term, global changes?" and "Am I meeting my long-term goals?" Data are collected about the long-term or wide-reaching impact of the program.

Impact and outcome evaluation are often confused. The key difference is that an outcome evaluation documents short-term or immediate outcomes, while an impact evaluation is focused on long-term, more global changes. For example, an outcome evaluation might examine the extent to which a substance abuse prevention program produced decreases in past 30-day substance use among program participants. An impact evaluation, on the other hand, might focus on changes in reports of past 30-day substance use among all adolescents in a particular school district.

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