The editorial team of the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation (CJPE) is pleased to announce that volume 29(2) is now published on-line. Starting with this issue, the full content of the articles is reserved to members in good standing until three more issues are published at which point non-members can access full articles as well. Reproduced below are the editor's remarks introducing the issue.
Before I prepare my Editor's Remarks, I do one last read-through of the articles. This time, I am particularly excited! The CJPE authors published in this issue deal with cutting-edge issues in an intelligent and thoughtful manner. They have pushed their thinking and now ours to consider novel approaches to evaluation, and they provide a plethora of practical solutions to both newer and older challenges that evaluators encounter.
The lead article, by Paquette-Warren et al., tackles an area of increasing concern to the evaluation community: how to evaluate comprehensive and complex strategies. The authors adopt a critical lens in their review of previous evaluation frameworks for diabetes strategies. As is found in many evaluation frameworks for health strategies, they find that surveillance and performance measurement predominate. An evidence framework for more substantial strategy evaluation is presented.
Arseneault et al. describe the particular challenges of evaluating in prisons. Their rich study provides a highly informative overview of strategies that evaluators can use to overcome challenges of conducting evaluations under conditions of considerable constraint.
Positivity in evaluation takes the spotlight as a theme segment in this issue. Although positivity in evaluation is not a new concept, the articles by Perrin and by Stame provide critical systematic and synthetic approaches that bring important new conceptual perspectives and facilitate application. The other two articles in this segment deepen our understanding of two commonly used tools, each of which many evaluators would be hard pressed to consider as tools for positive evaluation. Sridharan frames realist evaluation as a positive evaluation approach. His case study of health equity policy evaluation in Scotland demonstrates how realist evaluation can be used in practice as a way to learn from the positive. Appreciative inquiry is not found in most evaluators' toolkits. MacCoy contributes a thorough review and practitioner insights into the use of appreciative inquiry as an evaluation approach. Readers of this theme segment may very well need larger tool cases to accommodate positivity in evaluation as appropriate.
The issue is sealed with a timely Practice Note that should be very useful for the many evaluators and researchers who are grappling with systematic reviewing. Lauzier-Jobin demonstrates the value of realist reviews for complex social programs, highlighting work on mental health case management.
As always, the book review section keeps readers abreast of important new publications to help guide practice.