This engaging text takes an evenhanded approach to major theoretical paradigms in evaluation and builds a bridge from them to evaluation practice. Featuring helpful checklists, procedural steps, provocative questions that invite readers to explore their own theoretical assumptions, and practical exercises, the book provides concrete guidance for conducting large- and small-scale evaluations. Numerous sample studies-many with reflective commentary from the evaluators-reveal the process through which an evaluator incorporates a paradigm into an actual research project. The book shows how theory informs methodological choices (the specifics of planning, implementing, and using evaluations). It offers balanced coverage of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches. Useful pedagogical features include: *Examples of large- and small-scale evaluations from multiple disciplines. *Beginning-of-chapter reflection questions that set the stage for the material covered. * Extending your thinking questions and practical activities that help readers apply particular theoretical paradigms in their own evaluation projects. *Relevant Web links, including pathways to more details about sampling, data collection, and analysis. *Boxes offering a closer look at key evaluation concepts and additional studies. *Checklists for readers to determine if they have followed recommended practice.
Donna M. Mertens is Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Research at Gallaudet University, where she teaches advanced research methods and program evaluation to deaf and hearing students. She received the Distinguished Faculty Award from Gallaudet. The primary focus of her work is transformative mixed methods inquiry in diverse communities, with priority given to the ethical implications of research in pursuit of social justice. A past president of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), Dr. Mertens provided leadership in the development of the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation and the establishment of the AEA Diversity Internship Program with Duquesne University. She has received AEA's highest honors for service to the organization and the field, as well as for her contributions to evaluation theory. She is the author of several books and is widely published in major professional journals. Dr. Mertens conducts and consults on evaluations in many countries, including Egypt, India, South Africa, Botswana, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and Costa Rica. Amy T. Wilson is Director of International Programs at the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, where she leads a team of deaf educational specialists who share their expertise, knowledge, and technical skills with parents, educators, and professionals in economically poor countries. Dr. Wilson was a professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Research at Gallaudet University for 14 years. After living in developing countries and noting the poor assistance people with disabilities were receiving from U.S. development organizations, she developed Gallaudet's MA degree in International Development. The degree, which is the only one of its kind in the United States, focuses on the inclusion of people with disabilities in development assistance programs and in nongovernmental, federal, and faith-based development organizations both in the United States and overseas. Dr. Wilson was Program Director of the International Development Program; she also taught deaf and hearing students research and evaluation, theory and practice of international development, micropolitics, community development with people with disabilities, multicultural education, and gender, disability, and development. Dr. Wilson evaluates and advises development organizations and agencies (e.g., U.S. Agency for International Development, the InterAmerican Development Bank, the World Bank, and the Peace Corps) about the inclusiveness of their programs, as well as their effectiveness with various disability communities.