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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Thinking about context without comparison is unthinkable . Guba and Lincoln
would deny all this and forbid the transfer of intelligence from one context to
another . So where are they left ? Their notion of context amounts to those
It is precisely such a substantive ' match ' between context and mechanism which
the evaluator needs to search out in understanding the success of an initiative .
Programs are ideas . Ideas have their time and place . It is this conjunction that ...
It is clearly possible that more than one of these mechanisms for change may
operate simultaneously . Which ( if any ) mechanisms are fired turns on the
context in which CCTV is installed , and this may vary widely . Consider the
following : ( i ) ...