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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A reader ' s guide to Realistic Evaluation What follows is a long methodological
argument about how to conduct evaluation research . We know from long , long
experience in trying to develop research practice that methodological positions ...
Methodological disputation is , of course , habitual in the human sciences , and a
timeless ' polarity principle ' is ... seem to foregather and glare at each other , with
the result that methodological choices seem forever framed in mutual hostility .
Methodological rules are not written in stone but are the medium and outcome of
research practice ( Pawson , 1989 , Chapter 1 ) . Methodological progress can
actually be charted in much the same way as we trace the success of a program .