Building in Research and Evaluation
Human inquiry for living systems
Albert Einstein said we can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. If we don't have the kinds of health and human services or even the kinds of lives, communities and organisations we want, then we need to think differently.
Yoland Wadsworth offers an inspired insight and radically new proposition: that the act of our 'inquiring', of researching and evaluating together, is the way by which every living organism and all collective human life goes about continuously achieving the conditions for life.
Building in Research and Evaluation explores this new approach for bringing about both wanted change and stability. By inquiring around 'whole cycles' of acting, observing, questioning, feeling, reflecting, thinking, planning and acting again, Yoland identifies how new life might be brought to what we do.
'Sound and persuasive, insightful, important and inviting. A great contribution' - Michael Quinn Patton, author of the best-selling book, Utilization-Focused Evaluation
'Brilliant. I'm not aware of any other book of this nature. The examples are impressive' - Linette Hawkins, social work educator
'I remain critical of 'systems' models and biological analogies for organisational processes, but this work is unquestionably original and in major ways innovative' - Raewyn Connell, sociology professor
'Highly original. an ambitious integration of concepts. Credible and useful. Grounded in pioneering empirical research' - Danny Burns, professor of organisational learning
Table of Contents
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
1. SOME INTRODUCTORY FOUNDATIONS FOR BUILDING ON
2. LIVING SYSTEMS
3. CYCLES OF RESEARCH, EVALUATION AND INQUIRY FOR LIFE
4. MORE (TRULY) LIVING HUMAN SERVICES
5. EXAMPLES OF BUILDING IN INQUIRY FOR LIVING HUMAN SERVICE SYSTEMS
6. CONCLUDING WORDS
Appendix 1. How to deliver negative evaluation results constructively
Appendix 2. Key drivers of organisational excellence
Appendix 3. What s the Myers Briggs indicator got to do with it?
Appendix 4. An example of use of the sequence of whole cycle research questions: in health
Appendix 5. Other integral theories of change
Yoland Wadsworth is a path-breaker in methodology and use of social research, evaluation and complex systems thinking in health, community and human services. She is author of the bestselling Do It Yourself Social Research and Everyday Evaluation on the Run.
She is Adjunct Professor, Centre for Applied Social Research, RMIT University, and Principal Fellow, McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Mental Health and Community Wellbeing, University of Melbourne.