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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Evaluations only really become useful if they attempt the jump from utos to UTOS or indeed to * UTOS . Rendering this in more common evaluation parlance , Cronbach is saying that the typical audience will rarely read a report on gains ...
The quasi - experimental instinct is always to attempt to “ flatten ' them out , to regard them as confounding variables and to attempt to remove their influence so that we are left with the ' pure ' impact of the program on outcomes .
In this chapter we attempt to enunciate these foundations in some detail . Inquiry is always an amalgam of principle and practice , and our aim here is to demonstrate the broad potential of realist investigation .