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Evaluating Change. Chapter 10. ‘Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without abrasion.’ - Saul Alinsky . Evaluative Research .

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‘Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without abrasion.’

- Saul Alinsky

O\'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 10.

evaluative research
Evaluative Research
  • Evaluative research is undertaken to determine the value of some initiative such as a programme or policy
  • Findings of evaluative studies are considered crucial to rational and informed decision making

O\'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 10.

evaluating outcomes and process
Evaluating Outcomes and Process
  • Evaluative studies can relate to
    • outcomes, ‘did it work?’
    • process, ‘how can the design and implementation of the initiative be improved?’

O\'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 10.

methodological options
Methodological options
  • Rather be defined by any particular methodological approach, evaluative goals and perspectives sought determine appropriate methodology

O\'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 10.

methodological options process
Methodological Options - Process
  • Multiple and diverse process evaluation methods include
    • interviews
    • surveys
    • focus groups
    • observation
    • document review
  • They can also be important tools in outcome evaluations that seek provider and community perspectives

O\'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 10.

methodological options outcome
Methodological Options – Outcome
  • Methods that allow for direct comparison can be highly useful when evaluating outcomes. These often include
    • experiments
    • quasi-experiments

O\'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 10.

politics of evaluation
Politics of Evaluation
  • Evaluative research is political with both stakeholders and researchers having diverse goals and complex relationships

O\'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 10.

negotiating expectations
Negotiating Expectations
  • Navigating the politics of evaluation is easiest if client and researcher objectives/ expectation are made clear and are openly negotiated

O\'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 10.

real world complexity
Real-World Complexity
  • Evaluative research takes place in the real-world with all its associated complexity
  • Real-world challenges include
    • when the decision to evaluate comes after initial implementation
    • when objectives are not clearly articulated or are not readily measurable
    • when the intervention has not been going long enough to expect results
    • when effects of the initiative can be
      • difficult to measure
      • difficult to attribute to the initiative

O\'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 10.

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