COMPTE-RENDU: DeMars, C. (2010). Item Response Theory. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 137 pages.


L'évaluateur éthiquement engagé: sur le sens et la pertinence d'un nouveau référentiel

The concept of an evaluator's "commitment," also referred to as "advocacy" in the English literature and "plaidoyer" in the French literature, remains a subject of debate within the evaluation community. As evaluators, should we ban all forms of personal commitment to preserve the "neutrality" of our evaluations? Instead, should we commit ourselves to increasing the quality of evaluations, or to promoting certain values? What forms of commitment should then be recommended? Through a literature review, we attempt to clarify the different understandings underlying the use of this concept, and we examine how recent epistemological and moral changes in the field of evaluation have greatly amplified its meaning and its implications for the practice. We suggest that an "ethical commitment" may have a methodological and/or moral purpose, and that, ethical or not, the evaluator's commitment is inevitably present throughout the evaluation process.

Research on Evaluation: A Needs Assessment

This survey study attempts to understand the research questions that evaluators were most interested in answering. The findings suggested that there is a great deal of interest in research efforts that (a) explore factors that increase the impact of evaluation, (b) help develop new methodologies, (c) examine the influence of context on evaluations, and (d) help to address ethical dilemmas. Respondents also provided research questions for each topic, revealing a diverse body of concerns and issues. The study also indicated that research on evaluation is viewed as an important endeavour with strong support from the community.

Capturing the complexity of evaluations of health promotion interventions: A scoping review

Evaluation designs that can capture the complexity of health promotion (HP ) interventions are needed. Our objective was to assess if such evaluations use a Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) perspective, by using a scoping review of evaluations of HP interventions concerning alcohol and tobacco use in the peer-reviewed (PR) and grey literature (GL). We developed indicator questions to assess CAS aspects. Our study revealed that none of the 45 PR and 9 GL evaluations that we reviewed explicitly used a CAS perspective; however, most indirectly assessed complexity aspects. Our indicator questions are a step toward addressing the challenges of the practical application of a CAS perspective.

Propositions théoriques et pratiques pour l'évaluation de programmes en négligence

There is as yet no clear consensus about the effectiveness of interventions targetting child neglect. This article presents proposals for what to consider when evaluating those programs. First of all, child neglect is more an ecosystemic than a parental problem. An evaluation should therefore focus on changes within and outside the family. The individualized, multimodal nature of the programs makes an implementation fidelity evaluation necessary. Further, the evaluation should examine the factors that support the implementation, sustainability, and distribution of the program. Finally, an evaluation must be based on the outcomes perceived by a variety of players to provide a complete picture of the direct and indirect impact of the intervention.

BOOK REVIEWS: Bamberger, Michael, Rugh, Jim, and Mabry, Linda. (2012). Real World Evaluation: Working Under Budget, Time, Data, and Political Constraints (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 666 pages.


BOOK REVIEWS: Ryan, K. E., & Cousins, J. B. (Eds.). (2009). The Sage International Handbook of Educational Evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 608 pages.


BOOK REVIEWS: Hesse-Biber, S. N. (2010). Mixed Methods Research: Merging Theory with Practice. New York, NY: Guilford. 242 pages.