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The Science of Evaluation
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The Science of Evaluation
A Realist Manifesto



February 2013 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Evaluation researchers are tasked with providing the evidence to guide programme building and to assess its outcomes. As such, they labour under the highest expectations - bringing independence and objectivity to policy making. They face huge challenges, given the complexity of modern interventions and the politicised backdrop to all of their investigations. They have responded with a huge portfolio of research techniques and, through their professional associations, have set up schemes to establish standards for evaluative inquiry and to accredit evaluation practitioners. A big question remains. Has this monumental effort produced a progressive, cumulative and authoritative body of knowledge that we might think of as evaluation science? This is the question addressed by Ray Pawson in this sequel to Realistic Evaluation and Evidence-based Policy. In answer, he provides a detailed blueprint for an evaluation science based on realist principles.
Preface: The Armchair Methodologist and the Jobbing Researcher

 
 
PART ONE: PRECURSORS AND PRINCIPLES
 
Precursors: From the Library of Ray Pawson
 
First Principles: A Realist Diagnostic Workshop
 
PART TWO: THE CHALLENGE OF COMPLEXITY - DROWNING OR WAVING?
 
A Complexity Checklist
 
Contested Complexity
 
Informed Guesswork: The Realist Response to Complexity
 
PART THREE: TOWARDS EVALUATION SCIENCE
 
Invisible Mechanisms I: The Long Road to Behavioural Change
 
Invisible Mechanisms II: Clinical Interventions as Social Interventions
 
Synthesis as Science: The Bumpy Road to Legislative Change
 
Conclusion: A Mutually Monitoring, Disputatious Community of Truth Seekers

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.

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