Regardless of the agency, institution, or organization that is conducting program evaluation research, there are certain ethical issues that must be considered whenever data are to be collected from human subjects. These concerns have been addressed by Dane (1990) who reports that one of the fundamental requirements for all research is that participants have made a fully informed and competent decision to participate and that they have been made to understand if any risks are present, and the nature of those risks if they are present.
1. Agreed-upon values and objectives of all program evaluation research, regardless of the agency conducting the study, must include social responsibility objectives.
A variety of additional actions are recommended by Dane (1990) to protect human subjects' right to privacy and to eliminate or minimize any negative psychoemotional reactions to the research. These include: informing subjects that any information they provide on the test will be kept strictly confidential; allowing subjects not to write their names down on any test instruments; and, where possible, providing all research participants with a copy of the final report.
Another ethical issue involving some forms of program evaluation research has been discussed by Korteland and Cornwell (1991). The authors note that in the behavioral, social and medical sciences, the requirement of a control group can be ethically challenging.
Based on the reviewed literature, it is concluded that there are multiple ethical issues that arise in conducing program evaluation research. The discussion of these issues leads to the following recommendations for addressing the delineated issues. These conclusions are:
Hill (1992) goes on to note that the interplay of ethical and empirical elements in evaluation generates several distinguishable areas of concern: ethical and logical evaluation of program goals, empirical and ethical evaluation of program strategies, and empirical