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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When realists say that the constant conjunction view of one event producing
another ( model ( a ) is inadequate , they are not attempting to bring further '
intervening ' variables into the picture . So the idea is not that there might be a
propositions about how mechanisms are fired in contexts to produce outcomes .
All else in the circumnavigation of inquiry follows from this . Thus we are led next
to a style of hypothesis making , again amply foreshadowed in previous chapters
What you are saying is that in order to do our evaluations we need a theory
anticipating which mechanisms are triggered in which situations to produce
which outcomes . And that we need this theory to direct our research design and