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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... these inquiries have their practical imperfections and limitations , so much so
that we were tempted to call them ' good efforts ' rather than “ exemplars ' , but in
the end convention ruled and so we present our exemplary efforts as follows .
In the absence of explicit attention to such precise lines of CMO thinking , those
trying to follow in Kirkholt ' s footsteps and those asked to evaluate those efforts
were lost . To retain the momentum of Kirkholt , the key is thus not to replicate , for
crime prevention efforts that would be adequately resourced and targeted , and
be effective in generating ... Any effort to evaluate the long term potential of Safer
Cities needs to begin with the theory of what it is that the program is expected to ...