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Comparing evaluation activities across multiple theories of practice

Lisa M. Dillman

Evaluation and Program Planning, 2013, vol. 38, issue C, 53-60

Abstract: This article compares and contrasts the evaluation activities described in Practical Participatory Evaluation (Cousins & Whitmore, 1998), Values-engaged Evaluation (Greene, 2005), and Emergent Realist Evaluation (Mark, Henry, & Julnes, 1998). Using the logic models developed to depict each of the three evaluation theories (Hansen, Alkin, & Wallace, 2013) as a starting point, both quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques are employed to discuss the similarities and differences across the practice prescriptions. The approaches are then described according to Miller's (2010) standards for empirical examinations of evaluation theory. Specifically, I offer speculation about their operational specificity and feasibility in practice. I argue that none of the models is completely specific, or wholly unique, and they all present challenges of adaptation into the field. However, the models each offer varying degrees of guidance and unique elements through their prescriptions.

Keywords: Evaluation theory; Evaluation activities; Evaluation practice; Practical Participatory Evaluation; Values-engaged Evaluation; Emergent Realist Evaluation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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