COMPTES RENDUS DE LIVRES: R. K. Yin. (2012). Applications of Case Study Research. Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage. 231 pages.
BOOK REVIEWS: M. Q. Patton. (2011). Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use. New York, NY: Guilford Press. 373 pages.
BOOK REVIEWS: D. Kahneman. (2011). Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 499 pages.
In Search of a Balanced Canadian Federal Evaluation Function: Getting to Relevance
In April 2009, the Treasury Board Secretariat enacted a new Evaluation Policy replacing the previous 2001 version. This new policy has generated much discussion among the evaluation community, including the criticism that it has failed to repair the many shortcomings the function has faced since it centralized in 1977. This article reviews the history of the federal function as to why shortcomings persist and makes two assertions. First, if program evaluation is going to maintain its relevance, it will have to shift its focus from the individual program and services orientation to understanding how these programs and services relate to larger public policy objectives. Second, if program evaluation is to assume a whole-of-government approach, then evidentiary forms must be constructed to serve that purpose. The author makes the argument that evaluation must be far more holistic and calibrative than in the past; this means assessing the relevance, rationale, and effect of public policies. Only in this way can the function both serve a practical managerial purpose and be relevant to senior decision-makers.
A Commentary on Shepherd’s “In Search of a Balanced Canadian Federal Evaluation Function: Getting to Relevance”
Commentaires sur l'article de Robert P. Shepherd « In Search of a Balanced Canadian Federal Evaluation Function: Getting to Relevance »
In Search of a Balanced Canadian Federal Evaluation Function: Getting Back to the Future
Using Evaluation to Shape and Direct Comprehensive Community Initiatives: Evaluation, Reflective Practice, and Interventions Dealing with Complexity
The purpose of this article is to discuss how evaluation can be used to shape and direct Comprehensive Community Initiatives in an ongoing way. It does so by offering a case example of the Waterloo Region Immigrant Employment Network (WRIEN). The article begins by reviewing how participatory action research can encourage reflective practice. After the WRIEN case example is presented, we consider this example in light of collaborative evaluation literature and five facilitators of reflective practice: (a) be location-based, (b) value experiential and practical knowledge, (c) provide ongoing feedback, (d) facilitate democratic dialogue, and (e) focus on a vision for the common good. The article ends by discussing contributions to the broader evaluation knowledge base, particularly developmental evaluation.
The Essential Skills Series in Evaluation: Assessing the Validity of the ES Participant Workshop Evaluation Questionnaire
Since 2003, the Essential Skills Series training program developed by the Canadian Evaluation Society has been offered to more than 15 groups in the province of Québec. The evaluations of these workshops were based on the participants' reactions collected by a Participant Feedback Questionnaire. This article describes the process used to assess the structure of the questionnaire and document its psychometric properties in order to determine whether it covered all subjects addressed by the training program and the extent to which it measured the items it was intended to measure. The results suggest that the questionnaire is effective in measuring participant responses to all the relevant components of the training program. This procedure may interest professional evaluators who want to ensure that questionnaires used to evaluate training programs are suitable for their intended purpose.
BOOK REVIEWS: J. Daniel. (2012). Sampling Essentials: Practical Guidelines for Making Sampling Choices. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 291 pages.