Realistic Evaluation shows how programme evaluation needs to be, and can be bettered. It presents a profound yet highly readable critique of current evaluation practice, and goes on to introduce a `manifesto' and `handbook' for a fresh approach.
The main body of this book is devoted to the articulation of a new evaluation paradigm, which promises greater validity and utility from the findings of evaluation studies. The authors call this new approach `realistic evaluation'. The name reflects the paradigm's foundation in scientific realist philosophy, its commitment to the idea that programmes deal with real problems rather than mere social constructions, and its primary intention, which is to inform realistic developm
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From here , it is just a few short steps to the logic of what the textbooks call the “
classic experimental design ' , which we have already depicted as Figure 1 . 1 but
reproduce here for easy reference as Figure 2 . 1 . Pre - test Treatment Post ...
Experimental production : fires mechanism Context ( C ) Mechanism ( M )
Experimental control : disables extraneous mechanisms Regularity ( X - n Other
mechanisms Figure 3 . 2 The realist experiment from this vantage point ( and by
this we ...
We set out the basic features of social mechanisms , as well as the difference
between these and the mechanisms used in natural science explanation , with a
summary of our three examples as in Figure 3 . 4 . ( a ) Gas laws ( R ) ( b )