Evaluation: An Integrated Framework for Understanding, Guiding, and Improving Policies and Programs / Edition 1 available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
"This is one of the most coherent and comprehensive theories ofevaluation yet formulated and one that makes a most valuablecontribution. The authors are pioneering in important newdirections."
Ernest R. House, author of Professional Evaluation and Evaluatingwith Validity
"This book is the best I've ever read detailing a practical theoryof evaluation. It is comprehensive, beautifully written, and makessense of the evaluation enterprise. It does so by emphasizing themajor function of evaluation as sense-making about policies andprograms."
Thomas D. Cook, professor, sociology, psychology, education, andpublic policy, Northwestern University
Programs that serve the needs of the public continually facechanges brought by social, political, and economic forces. Tosurvive these changes, organizations must evaluate their programswisely and realistically. This book offers a new approach toevaluation, one that will encourage all kinds of organizations andagencies to improve their contributions to social betterment. Theauthors draw from three decades of evaluation practice and theoryto present their own framework for conceptualizing evaluation andfor pragmatically assessing social policies and programs.
They analyze four purposes of evaluation:
* To review the merit of programs and their value to society
* To improve the organization and its services
* To ensure program compliance with mandates
* To build knowledge and expertise for future programs
For the practitioner, these purposes help define the approach andmethods for an evaluation. The authors also enrich their discussionwith four possible modes of inquiry: description, classification,causal analysis, and values inquiry. Filled with tables, charts,and figures, this resource invites organizations to make the mostappropriate programming decisions based on thoughtful andsystematic methods. Evaluation: An Integrated Framework forUnderstanding, Guiding, and Improving Policies and Programs is atool that scholars can use to rejuvenate their view of evaluationand that practitioners can use to integrate the best techniqueswith a contemporary understanding of social policy and change.
About the Author
GARY HENRY professor of Public Administration, Political Science, and Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State and co-editor-in-chief of New Directions for Evaluation.
MELVIN MARKS professor of psychology at Penn State and editor of the American Journal of Evaluation.
GEORGE JULNES assistant professor of Psychology in the Research and Evaluation Methodology at Utah State University.The authors combine varied backgrounds in research methods, public administration, psychology, and education which should help this book reach varied audiences.
Table of Contents
A Brief Overview of the Evaluation Enterprise.
A Framework for Describing and Planning Evaluations.
Realist Foundations for Sensemaking Through Evaluation.
Aligning Betterment, Purposes, Modes of Inquiry, and Methods forSensemaking in a Realist World.
Evaluation Planning for Sensemaking in a Real(ist) World.
Methods for Description.
Methods for Causal Analysis.
Evaluation as Assisted Sensemaking: A Reprise.
What People are Saying About This
"This is one of the most coherent and comprehensive theories of evaluation yet formulated and one that makes a most valuable contribution. The authors are pioneering in important new directions." —Ernest R. House, author of Professional Evaluation and Evaluating with Validity
"Evaluators of many theoretical and practical persuasions can find a comfortable place for themselves within the big tent that is evaluation as assisted sensemaking. And, they need not worry that the tent will collapse. This tent has been constructed of sturdy materials, from a design that interweaves innovation with tradition, by builders with vision, talent, and commitment." —Jennifer C. Greene, professor, educational psychology, University of Illinois
"This volume is essential reading for every evaluator and evaluation user, and would make an outstanding, readable, and provocative text for an evaluation method or strategies course. The book accomplishes the near impossible of presenting concrete, specific evaluation methods and tools while at the same time integrating them into a coherent, credible philosophical framework. I predict this volume will immediately become the 'thought leader' in the first decade of this new millennium, articulating the new consensus in evaluation perspectives." —William Trochim, professor, Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University
"This book is the best I've ever read detailing a practical theory of evaluation. It is comprehensive, beautifully written, and makes sense of the evaluation enterprise. It does so by emphasizing the major function of evaluation as sense-making about policies and programs." —Thomas D. Cook, professor, sociology, psychology, education, and public policy, Northwestern University