The idea that human services programs should be evaluated is accepted by most practitioners and researchers. Discussion is about the technical aspects of this research and about how practitioners can be encouraged to utilize evaluative findings in their everyday practice. Emphasis is placed also on the organizational barriers to this utilization. These ideas and issues are found in a growing literature in the social sciences and, increasingly, in the even faster growing literatures in the professions and in the human services, including the social services, medical and health services, criminal justice and the like.

Here, evaluation research is discussed from a different perspective: as a scientific social reform movement and as an ideology. Attempt is made to offer a beginning analysis of some elements in the evaluation ideology and to focus attention on some of the consequences of this ideology and social movement for staff in human service agencies.