What Counts as Credible Evidence in Applied Research and Evaluation Practice?

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"The issue of what constitutes credible evidence isn't about to get resolved. And it isn't going away.This book explains why. The diverse perspectives presented are balanced, insightful, and critical for making up one's own mind about what counts as credible evidence. And, in the end, everyone must take a position. You simply can't engage in or use research and evaluation without deciding what counts as credible evidence. So read this book carefully, take a position, and enter the fray."
—Michael Quinn Patton, Author of Utilization-Focused Evaluation, 4e

"I found this text to be very interesting and useful in capturing and presenting varying perspectives in the field. There are some very good points and considerations for students and practitioners in this book."
—Michael Schooley, Centers for Disease Control

"Donaldson and colleagues have assembled an insightful and timely collection of papers on the complex issues regarding what constitutes credible evidence in evaluation. This important book offers readers the latest thinking on generating actionable evidence for policy and program decision-making from a wide variety of philosophical perspectives. The book is an indispensable resource for evaluation scholars and practitioners on this longstanding and central debate in the evaluation field."
—Robin Lin Miller, Michigan State University

Placing into perspective the meaning of evidence for evaluation professionals and applied researchers, this text provides observations about the diversity and changing nature of credible evidence, Editors Stewart I. Donaldson, Christina A. Christie, and Melvin M. Mark include lessons from their own applied research and evaluation practice, and suggest ways in which practitioners might address the key issues and challenges of collecting credible evidence.

Key Features

  • Provides summaries of the strengths and weaknesses of the varied approaches to research and evaluation to give readers greater insight and guidance on how to select the appropriate methods for their work
  • Offers diverse definitions of "evidence" so that readers can evaluate the landscape of this highly debated research issue
  • Devotes a full chapter to the implications of evidence for contemporary applied research and evaluation practice

This book is appropriate for a wide range of courses, including Introduction to Evaluation Research, Research Methods, Evaluation Practice, Program valuation, Program Development and Evaluation, and evaluation coursesin Social Work, Education, Public Health, and Public Policy.

 

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Acerca del autor (2009)

Christina A. Christie is a Professor and Head of the Social Research Methodology Division in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at University of California, Los Angeles. Christie specializes in educational and social policy and program evaluation. Her research focuses on the factors and conditions that influence evaluation practice in an effort to strengthen our understanding of evaluation as a method for facilitating social change. She has published extensively and her work appears in journals such American Journal of Evaluation, Children and Youth Services Review, Evaluation and Program Planning, Studies in Educational Evaluation and Teachers College Record. Christie has served on the board of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and is the former Chair of the Theories of Evaluation Division and the Research on Evaluation Division of AEA. Currently, she is an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Evaluation. Melvin M. Mark is professor of psychology at the Pennsylvania State University, where he also is Head of the Department of Psychology. He has served as President of the American Evaluation Association (AEA). He was Editor of the American Journal of Evaluation (and is now Editor Emeritus). A social psychologist, Dr. Mark has wide ranging interests related to the theory, methodology and practice of evaluation, as well as a general interest in the application of social psychology to evaluation and applied social research. Dr. Mark’s awards include the American Evaluation Association’s Lazarsfeld Award for Contributions to Evaluation Theory. He is author of more than 125 articles and chapters in books. Among his books are Evaluation: An integrated framework for understanding, guiding, and improving policies and programs and the co-edited volumes Social Science and Social Policy; SAGE Handbook of Evaluation; What Counts as Credible Evidence in Applied Research and Evaluation Practice; Evaluation in Action: Interviews with Expert Evaluators; and Social Psychology and Evaluation.

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