English

Interest in collaborative and participatory forms of evaluation -- evaluation that involves evaluators working directly with non-evaluator program practitioners or stakeholders -- has increased substantially in recent years. Yet research-based knowledge about such approaches remains limited. Moreover, empirical studies have focussed almost exclusively on the perspectives of evaluators or to a lesser extent non-evaluator stakeholders associated with the program. The present study examines in a direct comparative way the convergence of evaluator and non-evaluator perspectives about collaborative evaluation. Sixty-seven pairs of evaluators and program practitioners, members of which participated on a common collaborative evaluation project, completed a questionnaire about the evaluation and their opinions concerning collaborative evaluation. Results showed that relative to their evaluator counterparts, program practitioners indicated that they were more involved in technical evaluation activities, were more conservative in their views about evaluation consequences and tended to feel more positively about the collaborative evaluation affective experience. They agreed, however, about evaluator involvement and the range of stakeholder groups participating in the program. In general program practitioner and evaluator views and opinions about collaborative evaluation converged although some differences regarding who should participate and the power and potential of collaborative evaluation were noted. Typically, program practitioners were more conservative in their opinions. The results are discussed in terms of their support for the integration of evaluation into program planning and development.

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Pages
113-133
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