Evaluation in action - Theory and practice for effective evaluation

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By Gillian Squirrell

Large format paperback, 152 pages

Published 2012

Evaluation is a powerful tool that can create considerable fear. It may be used to decide how to allocate often scarce resources, it can be the forerunner of bad news, or just be a means to preserve the status quo. But evaluation is always about people, and can empower the disempowered, stimulate change and support democratic innovation and creativity, it is these elements that this book emphasises.

It is accessible for those early in their experience of evaluation, taking them and those with more experience to advanced levels. It helps them consider:

  • methodologies and theory
  • a range of different approaches to framing and undertaking evaluations, and how to consider which is most appropriate
  • issues of power, politics and values
  • the choices involved in conducting evaluations, and the consequences of these choices
  • the learning that comes from evaluations to stimulate and organisational changes

The book encourages readers to become involved, offering some examples and stimulating reflection. It is for evaluators, new and experienced, anyone commissioning evaluators, involved in evaluations, as stakeholders at any level.

Organisations wanting to develop an evaluation strategy, students, lecturers, researchers and libraries.

Dr Gillian Squirrell describes her career as social services in action. With an academic background in social sciences and management, she has worked for over 20 years in research, evaluation, training, organisational development and as social entrepreneur.


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