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Synopsis

Program Theory-Driven Evaluation Science fills the gap between 21st century literature on evaluation and what is happening in practice. It features detailed examples of how evaluations actually unfold in practice to develop people, programs, and organizations. Commonly accepted strategies for practicing evaluation are outlined, followed by comprehensive accounts of how those strategies have played out in the face of the complexities and challenges of “real world” settings. In so doing, the book illustrates the authentic challenges of implementing an evaluation approach in practice.

Author Stewart Donaldson provides a state-of-the-art treatment of the practice of program theory-driven evaluation science. Each case follows a three-step model: developing program impact theory; formulating and prioritizing evaluation questions; and answering evaluation questions. Initial chapters discuss the emergence of program theory-driven evaluation science and specific strategies for carrying out each of the three steps. Succeeding chapters address recent applications and practical implications of evaluation science. The challenges and lessons learned from the cases are then reviewed.

This volume is of significant value to evaluation practitioners, professors and trainers of evaluation, evaluation researchers, and advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and serves as a text for courses in evaluation and applied research methods. It is also of great interest to those interested in the connections between work and health, career development, human service organizations, and organizational improvement and effectiveness.

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