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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We know from long , long experience in trying to develop research practice that
methodological positions can become “ badges of honour ' . One can easily be
misunderstood , debating positions tend to become foreclosed too early , and
Nor will their multifarious reasons for trying education ( sanctuary from the wings ,
escape from boredom , a good doss ) necessarily correspond with the outcomes
that may ensue ( developing academic interests , making new friends ...
... standardize the initiative completely , it wouldn ' t help in understanding the
way in which it worked . The same program can and will always work in different
ways . It ' s like the old thing about trying to activate ' community crime initiatives ' .