What is Criteria?

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Criteria is a noun, the plural form of criterion which refers to a standard, rule or an established process used in, among other things, measuring, making, judging or selecting something. For instance, SAT scores are part of the college admission criteria. The term originated from Ancient Greek. The criterion for judgment specifies the aspect in evaluating an intervention that enables its successes or advantages to be assessed. Though the phrase judgment criterion may be suitable, the acceptable substitute can be ‘logical assessment criterion.’ Such a criterion is used to respond to evaluation questions with more than one judgment criteria derived from every question.

Purpose of Criteria

Criteria serve varied purposes. For instance, in the case of a judgment criterion, they can play the important role of preventing subjectivity and to ensure that judgments are formulated along accepted standards or terms. The criterion may also be important in terms of enhancing transparency in the evaluation process by making judgments straight forward. The criterion helps structure responses to queries posed because the criteria determines the nature of data to be collected, how it will be analyzed and indicators to measure progress. Essentially, a criterion should be defined prior to picking existing indicators or generating an indicator. This is important because it helps clarify concepts. Focusing on indicators too early can get a person trapped in current information even when it is not sufficient enough to respond to questions raised. The criteria should also be discussed by a reference team to ensure diverse views or points that are relevant to the process are captured and factored in. In some instances, there will be disagreements when formulating a criterion, For example, an effect may be interpreted differently by different persons in the reference team. In such situations, choose an option that minimizes bias.

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