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RealWorld Evaluation

RealWorld Evaluation
Working Under Budget, Time, Data, and Political Constraints

Second Edition

January 2012 | 712 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This book helps practicing evaluators design and conduct competent evaluation studies, while explicitly considering resource and data constraints. The book is organized around a seven-step model developed by the authors, and which has been tested and refined in workshops that cater to a broad spectrum of evaluation practitioners. Vignettes from practice and case studies, representing evaluations from a variety of geographic regions and sectors, demonstrate adaptive possibilities for small projects with budgets of a few thousand dollars, or timelines as brief as a few days, to large-scale, long-term evaluations with multi-million-dollar budgets. The text is specifically designed to incorporate quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method designs.
Part 1. The RealWorld Evaluation Approach
Chapter 1. Overview: RealWorld Evaluation and the Contexts in Which It Is Used
Chapter 2. [Step 1] Scoping the Evaluation: First clarify the purpose
Chapter 3. [Step 2] Budget Constraints: Not enough money
Chapter 4. [Step 3] Time Constraints: Addressing scheduling and other time constraints
Chapter 5. [Step 4] Data Constraints: Critical information is missing or difficult to collect
Chapter 6. [Step 5] Addressing Political Influences: Reconciling different priorities and perspectives
Chapter 7. [Step 6] Strengthening the Evaluation Design and the Validity of Conclusions
Chapter 8. [Step 7] Making it Useful: Helping clients and other stakeholders use the evaluation findings and recommendations
Part 2. A Review of Evaluation Methods and Approaches and their Application in RealWorld Evaluation: For those who would like to dig deeper on particular evaluation topics
Chapter 9. Ensuring competent and ethical practice in the conduct of the evaluation
Chapter 10. Theory-based evaluation
Chapter 11. Evaluation designs
Chapter 12. Quantitative evaluation approaches
Chapter 13. Qualitative evaluation approaches
Chapter 14. Mixed method evaluations
Chapter 15. Sampling
Chapter 16. Evaluating complex, multi-component development interventions
Part 3. Organizing and Managing Evaluations and Strengthening Evaluation Capacity: For readers involved with the funding and management of evaluations
Chapter 17. Organizing and managing evaluations
Chapter 18. Strengthening evaluation capacity
Chapter 19. Conclusions and challenges and the road ahead

“This book represents a significant achievement. The authors have succeeded in creating a book that can be used in a wide variety of locations and by a large community of evaluation practitioners.”

Michael D. Niles
Missouri Western State University

“This book is exceptional and unique in the way that it combines foundational knowledge from social sciences with theory and methods that are specific to evaluation.”

Gary Miron
Western Michigan University

“The book represents a very good and timely contribution worth having on an evaluator’s shelf, especially if you work in the international development arena.”

Thomaz Chianca
independent evaluation consultant, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“Best text I’ve found for introducing evaluation design AND critical thinking, especially as it relates to current and generally accepted practice, as well as the crucial grounding in real world concerns.”

Mara L. Schoeny
George Mason University

Excellent course book for public health students who wish to understand how to develop and conduct evaluation in real world settings.

Dr Ruth Jepson
Division of Community Health Sciences, Edinburgh University
June 7, 2016

I am using this book in my summer evaluation class and come to find that Real World means third world and thus the books relevance is limited. The book is also over-complicated for students. Too much detail and as an evaluator just too messily written, difficult to figure what is going on. Seeking a different text for the fall.

POLICY STUDIES, Georgia State University
July 1, 2014

I am using McDavid, Huse and Hawthorn, Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement (Sage) instead.

Professor Greg Brown
Sociology , Nipissing University
January 8, 2014

This text provides a comprehensive introduction to undertaking social programme and service evaluations on a tight budget or on a smaller scale.

Dr Harriet Churchill
Social Work, Sheffield University
September 14, 2012

excellent and I will share with colleagues on the new MSc in International Midwifery that starts in 2013

Professor Barbara Jack
Faculty of Health, Edge Hill University
August 22, 2012

I wanted to increase the evaluation element in the research methods module as many students may go into job roles where they are more likely to be asked to evaluate projects and events. This is a very accessible and straightforward book.

Dr Louise Platt
Ctr for Tourism,Consumer & Food Studie, Liverpool John Moores University
May 17, 2012

What's new in the Second Edition?

· A greater focus on responsible professional practice, codes of conduct and the importance of ethical standards for all evaluations.

· Some new perspectives on the debate over the "best" evaluation designs. While experimental designs can address the important issues of selection bias, such statistical designs are potentially vulnerable to a number of important threats to validity. These include process and contextual analysis, collecting information on sensitive topics and from difficult-to-reach groups, difficulties in adapting to changes in the evaluation design and implementation strategies. Experience also suggests that strong statistical designs can only be applied in a very small proportion of evaluations.

· There are many instances in which well-designed non-experimental designs will be the best option for assessing outcomes of many programs; particularly for evaluating complex programs and even "simple" programs that involve complex processes of behavioral change.

· The importance of understanding the setting within which the evaluation is designed, implemented and used.

· Program theory as a central building block of most evaluation designs. The expanded discussion incorporates theory of change, contextual and process analysis, multi-level logic models, using competing theories and trajectory analysis.

· The range of evaluation design options has been considerably expanded, and case studies are included (Appendix 6) to illustrate how each of the 19 designs has been applied in the field.

· Greater emphasis is given to the benefits of mixed method evaluation designs

· A new chapter has been added on the evaluation of complicated and complex development interventions. Conventional pretest-posttest comparison group designs can rarely be applied to the increasing proportion of development assistance channeled through complex interventions and a range of promising new approaches – still very much "work in progress" -- are presented

· Two new chapters on organizing and managing evaluations and strengthening evaluation capacity. This includes a discussion of strategies for promoting the institutionalization of evaluation systems at the sector and national levels.

· The discussion of quality assurance and threats to validity has been expanded and checklists and worksheets are included (Appendices 1-5) on how to assess the validity of quantitative, qualitative and mixed method designs.

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ISBN: 9781412979627