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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Experimental evaluation has struggled because of a basically ' positivisť
understanding of the nature of social causation . We hesitate to put it like this ,
since the term ' positivism ' these days has been reduced to a crude term of
It will come as no surprise to learn that our model of realistic cumulation involves
making progress in understanding across the realistic explanatory triad . Thus
cumulation is a matter of deepening , specifying , focusing and formalising our ...
... there is a fringe of incompleteness in self - understanding which Giddens
characterizes by the terms unacknowledged conditions of action and unintended
consequences of action . For instance , prisoners may well enter the education