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Program Evaluation: Types of Evaluations

The areas within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) use several types of evaluation to quantify impacts, assess progress, and promote improvement. Several of these are listed below.

In-Progress Peer Reviews

In-progress peer reviews are a distinct form of process evaluation. They seek to answer questions of why and how well an activity is being implemented. EERE defines in-progress peer review as:

"A rigorous, formal, and documented evaluation process using objective criteria and qualified and independent reviewers to make a judgment of the technical/ scientific/business merit, the actual or anticipated results, and the productivity and management effectiveness of programs and/or projects." [EERE Peer Review Guide, 2004]

The EERE Guide and this Web page focus only on in-progress peer reviews (sometimes referred to simply as "peer review").

Downloads of EERE peer review reports can be found at EERE Evaluation Plans and Reports.

Learn more about planning and conducting peer reviews.

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Stage Gate or Go/No-Go Reviews

Stage Gate reviews are a form of process evaluations that focus on technology and market readiness. They determine when a technology or activity is ready to move to its next stage of development.

Stage gate reviews involve use of a series of "Gates" to review projects before moving forward, typically using external experts to assess the technical and business cases. Each stage of the process is designed to reduce levels of uncertainty and risk.

Similarly "Down-Select" reviews winnow the R&D paths pursued and "Off-Ramp" reviews determine if the DOE job is done and the technology can be graduated or terminated.

See Stage Gate Review Guide for the Industrial Technologies Program and Stage Gate Review Guide for the Biomass Program.

Downloads of completed Stage Gate or go/no-go reviews can be found at EERE Evaluation Plans and Reports.

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Impact Evaluations

There are four types of impact evaluations.

Downloads of completed impact evaluations can be found at EERE Evaluation Plans and Reports.

Learn more about planning and conducting general program evaluations.

Learn more about planning and conducting benefit-cost evaluations of R&D programs.

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Technical Program Reviews and Advisory Committee Reviews

EERE has a long history of performing reviews of its programs. These include technical and strategic EERE program portfolio reviews by EERE Senior Management and reviews by advisory committees and technical teams.

Strategic Program Review

An example of an EERE-corporate level technical program review is the EERE 2002 Strategic Program Review (SPR).

The main focus of an SPR is to review each program's key goals and objectives and multi-year technical and portfolio plans, as well as identify issues requiring EERE Management attention.

For example, in an SPR, each program might be asked to present:

As a result of an SPR, EERE Office leadership are able to identify key management and research portfolio issues along with a range of possible solutions.

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Content Last Updated: 02/04/2013