Think Positively! And Make a Difference Through Evaluation

This article introduces a special theme segment of CJPE that identifies and discusses various approaches to evaluation that support positivity. It also discusses why an approach to evaluation that supports positivity is basic to the objectives and raison d'être of evaluation — to contribute, generally in an indirect manner, to social betterment.

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Learning from evaluation misadventures: the importance of good communication

Good communication is a key factor affecting the success of evaluation in many ways. This article presents four examples from a variety of government and international organizations illustrating communication-gone-wrong, and often evaluation management-gone-wrong. The article discusses what can be learned from these situations in order to provide for more effective communication in other evaluation contexts, and thereby enhancing the relevance, quality, and use of evaluation.

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How can information about the competencies required for evaluation be useful?

This article explores the main themes and implications arising from the three articles in this thematic segment regarding evaluation competencies. It identifies five potential uses for competency information: (a) basic education and training, (b) selfevaluation, (c) professional development, (d) information and advocacy about the skills required for competent evaluations, and (e) assisting evaluation commissioners in choosing and managing evaluators.

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Defining the Benefits, Outputs, and Knowledge Elements of Program Evaluation

The Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) has undertaken a project to explore the benefits that can be attributed to program evaluation, the outputs necessary to achieve those benefits, and the knowledge and skills needed to produce the outputs. Benefits, outputs, and knowledge elements were articulated and confirmed through a number of consultations with CES members and the international evaluation community.

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