Editor’s Remarks

The diversity, vitality, and adaptability of our evaluation community shine through in this issue of the CJPE. I am pleased to introduce a new section, titled “Roots and Relations: Celebrating Good Medicine in Indigenous Evaluation.” Larry Bremner and Nicole Bowman, who have graciously accepted to lead us as section editors, outline their vision for the section, which opens up new opportunities to Indigenous students, scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and evaluators to share their work in different ways.

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Conclusion: Transforming Evaluation Practice for “Business Unusual”

More than ever before, the idea of returning to “business as usual” is being challenged. Over the last few years, we have witnessed unprecedented health and socio-economic impacts from climate change-induced catastrophes: extensive wildfires, floods, droughts, and disease transmission. There are new, emerging infectious diseases already present in certain regions of the world which have spread rapidly to a large proportion of the population. The various Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemics of recent years are one such example.

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A Multi-Stage Approach to Qualitative Sampling within a Mixed Methods Evaluation: Some Reflections on Purpose and Process

We share experiences from a mixed methods evaluation in rural India that combines a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 400 villages with embedded case studies in four villages. Specifically, we present two lessons from the multi-stage sampling approach adopted to select the four case-study villages, which first prioritized key-informant observations regarding intervention status in order to shortlist locations and subsequently used data from the RCT’s baseline survey to select the final sample.

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Sustainability Analysis of Intervention Benefits: A Theory of Change Approach

Theories of change (ToCs) are models of how an intervention is expected to bring about changes in results of interest—the benefits. Robust ToCs spell out the conditions under which the intervention should “work,” that is, bring about or contribute to the desired benefits. But rarely does the ToC address issues of the future sustainability of the benefits from the intervention.

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Application of an Evaluation Framework for Extra-Organizational Communities of Practice: Assessment and Refinement

Communities of practice (CoPs) are groups of people who work together on an ongoing basis and share knowledge and expertise. CoPs exist both within and outside of organizations, although extra-organizational CoPs have received less evaluation attention. The primary objective of this study was to assess the applicability of a multi-level, multiple-value evaluation framework for extra-organizational CoPs. Qualitative interviews were conducted with an extra-organizational CoP— the Canadian Community of Practice in Ecosystems Approaches to Health (CoPEH-Canada).

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Toward Learning from Change Pathways: Reviewing Theory of Change and Its Discontents

The concept of Theory of Change (ToC) is well established in the evaluation literature, underpinning substantial research and practice eff orts. However, its ability to facilitate learning has been increasingly debated. The objective of this paper is to identify, characterize, and evaluate concerns over the use of ToCs based on a review of relevant studies.
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