Abstract: Quebec and Canadian organizations, communities, and professionals working collectively to address complex social issues in dynamic contexts are enthusiastically embracing social innovation. Some of this innovation’s limitations have been revealed by formative and summative evaluation approaches. Developmental evaluation (DE) could be a potential solution. This article combines scientifi c literature with the experience of experienced DE practitioners in Quebec. Balancing project management and evaluation, knowledge production and transformation of practices, continuous iterations and setting deadlines is at the very core of an eff ective DE approach.
Les défis de l’évaluation développementale en recherche: une analyse d’implantation d’un projet «Hôpital promoteur de santé»
Developmental evaluation (DE), an approach developed by Patton to support the implementation of innovations, remains relatively untested in research. This article describes an attempt to apply DE as part of an implementation study of a healthpromoting hospital project in a university hospital. The article highlights the dichotomous demands of academic research and evaluation use inherent in applying DE from a research perspective, and analyzes the challenges encountered in this case.
Evaluating complex interventions requires an understanding of the program's logic of action. Logic analysis, a specific type of program theory evaluation based on scientific knowledge, can help identify either the critical conditions for achieving desired outcomes or alternative interventions for that purpose. In this article, we outline the principles of logic analysis and its roots. We then illustrate its use with an actual evaluation case. Finally, we discuss the advantages of conducting logic analysis prior to other types of evaluations.
Theoretically, evaluation should help decision-makers address contemporary health system challenges. Paradoxically, the use of evaluation results by decision-makers remains poor, despite rapid development in the evaluation field. The level of use depends on the evaluator's ability to account for the complexity of health-care systems. The complex nature of an intervention often compels evaluators to adopt unconventional approaches to account for the roles of the players.