The purpose of A Developmental Evaluation Companion is the same as that of the original A Developmental Evaluation Primer — to introduce the concept to changemakers, and to the evaluators, critical friends and reality testers, who are their partners in that change journey. The aim is to provide an overview of the essential elements of Developmental Evaluation (DE) to create some coherence, not to present any one version of DE as the right one. There is an ever-expanding set of views, resources and even critiques on DE, which signals to us that the field is very much alive. The intent of this companion is to encourage going deeper and wrestling with the many issues and ideas presented.
This book is organized into three sections. In section one, the authors introduce DE and look at its niche and principles, the importance of paying attention to context, and the roles that developmental evaluators play. In section two, it explores several areas that shape DE — the evaluator’s stance and capabilities, assessing readiness, contracting, and working in imperfect conditions. Section three looks at designing DEs including methods for generating evidence, strategies for sensemaking and ways of communicating findings. Throughout, there are case studies to help illustrate DE in practice.