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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In thinking about differential effects according to risk , they went further than
targeted preselection , and followed a ( potentially realist ) path of examining
outcomes for different subsets of prisoners . Experimental and control
comparisons are ...
For example , a simple development of rational choice theory is the idea that
decisions to commit crimes are informed by the levels of perceived risk , reward
and effort involved ( Clarke , 1992 ) . This suggests that we can understand
and questioning the reliability and validity of one or other of these studies , the
realist instinct is to go back to the theory drawing - board in order to search for a
refinement in understanding of the risk enhancement mechanism which would ...