Professional identity is a precondition for the establishment of a profession. This examines the professional identity of program evaluators in Israel. The field of evaluation in Israel has developed differently than in most Western countries—from the ground and with minimal governmental interference—and thus it is an interesting case study. In spite of the diversity of the backgrounds of evaluators, there is strong agreement among them on the core of evaluation as an interdisciplinary profession whose aim is mainly as an advisory tool that serves for learning.
In this article we examine the role of the evaluator in the process of organizational learning, and discuss the conditions necessary to facilitate the productive execution of such a role and the consequent ramifications for evaluation. First, we describe the process of organizational learning as presented in the literature of organizational learning. Second, we examine the demands that process presents to evaluators. Third, we discuss organizational learning within the context of participatory evaluation, and then explore the role of the external learning agent.
This article discusses the similarities and dissimilarities between research and evaluation, which are two clearly differentiated disciplines despite their similarity in concepts, tools, and methods. The purpose of research is to enlarge the body of scientific knowledge; the purpose of evaluation is to provide useful feedback to program managers and entrepreneurs. In this article I examine the central characteristics of research and evaluation (validity, generalization, theory and hypotheses, relevance, and causality) and the different roles those characteristics play in each.