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.
"This book has multiple audiences and numerous potential uses. It can be used in graduate courses focused on student and faculty development and with cohorts and other groups where acclimation to the academy and relational learning are critical. … The teachings of this book could serve faculty and administrators at all levels of experience. A final audience is mentoring scholars and researchers for whom this contemporary compendium of ideas and practices can further inform professions." -Education Review
“Donaldson’s book makes an important contribution to the advancement of theory-driven evaluation, and toward improving the evaluation profession … It allows readers to not only understand how and when to use theory-driven evaluations, but also how to perform them.” -Huey T. Chen, Ph.D., The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Contents: Preface. Part I: Foundations and Strategies for Program Theory-Driven Evaluation Science. The Emergence of Program Theory-Driven Evaluation Science. Developing Program Impact Theory. Formulating, Prioritizing, and Answering Evaluation Questions. Part II: Applications of Program Theory-Driven Evaluation Science. The Evaluation of a $20 Million, Multi-Program,
Work and Health Initiative. Evaluation of the Winning New Jobs Program. Evaluation of the Computers in Our Future Program. Evaluation of the Health Insurance Policy Program. Evaluation of the Future of Work and Health Program. Evaluation of the Entire Work and Health Initiative. Bunche-Da Vinci Learning Partnership Academy. Using Program Theory-Driven Evaluation Science to Crack The Da Vinci Code. Part III: Lessons Learned & Future Directions. Lessons Learned From Applications of Program Theory-Driven Evaluation Science. Practical Implications of the Emerging Transdiscipline of Evaluation Science.