As a key application of smart grid technologies, the smart distribution network (SDN) is expected to have a high diversity of equipment and complexity of operation patterns. Situational awareness (SA), which aims to provide a critical visibility of the SDN, will enable a significant assurance for stable SDN operations. However, the lack of systematic evaluation through the three stages of perception, comprehensive, and prediction may prevent the SA technique from effectively achieving the performance necessary to monitor and respond to events in SDN. To analyze the feasibility and effectiveness of the SA technique for the SDN, a comprehensive evaluation framework with specific performance indicators and systematic weighting methods is proposed in this paper. Besides, to implement the indicator framework while addressing the key issues of human expert scoring ambiguity and the lack of data in specific SDN areas, an improved interval-based analytic hierarchy process-based subjective weighting and a multi-objective programming method-based objective weighting are developed to evaluate the SDN SA performance. In addition, a case study in a real distribution network of Tianjin China is conducted whose outcomes verify the practicality and effectiveness of the proposed SA technique for SDN operating security.