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Principles-Focused Evaluation

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Table of Contents

I. Principles: What They Are, Why They Matter, and Their Niche in Program Development and Evaluation 1. First Principles 2. Effectiveness Principles: What? Why? When? How? Who? Where? 3. Examples of Principles-Driven Change Initiatives and Programs 4. Evaluating Principles: Historical Context and Forward-Looking Challenge 5. The Niche and Nature of Principles-Focused Evaluation: Serving Diverse Purposes II. GUIDE: Criteria for Effectiveness Principles 6. GUIDE for PRINCIPLES: The Characteristics of High-Quality Effectiveness Principles G: Guidance 7. Guidance for Developing and Distinguishing Principles: Principles versus Rules, and the Alternative Principles Test 8. Referring to Something as a Principle Doesn't Make It One: Distinguishing Effectiveness Principles 9. Still More Guidance on Developing and Distinguishing Principles: Principles Derived from and Contrasted with Assumptions, Truths, and Lessons 10. Conceptual Triangulation: Evaluating the Similarities of Parallel Principles 11. Holistic, Sequential, and Pole Star Approaches to Principles U: Useful 12. Principles Point the Way to Desired Results 13. Diverse Uses of Principles across an Organization, Nora F. Murphy & Heather Huseby 14. Evaluating the Utility of Research-Derived Principles for Enhancing Online Learning I: Inspiring 15. Inspirational Principles Are Infused with Values 16. Principles-Focused Evaluation at the Grassroots in Africa: Inspirational Examples and Reflections, John Wilson 17. Inspiring Principles: Distinguishing Overarching Principles from Operational Principles, Charmagne Campbell-Patton 18. Principles-Focused Pedagogy of Evaluation: Inspired by Freirean Pedagogy D: Developmental 19. The Developmental Nature of Effectiveness Principles: A Case Example of Adapting Principles in Practice, Yve Susskind & Peggy Holman 20. Simple Rules and Minimum Specifications: Spotlight on Complexity Concepts with Developmental Implications E: Evaluable 21. Evaluable Principles: Methods and Measures for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Principles 22. Principles-Focused Sampling 23. Rendering Judgments about the Effectiveness of Principles 24. Evaluating Principles for Evidence of Effectiveness: Three Kinds of Evidence-Based Judgments and Effective Principles in Contrast to Best Practices Summary of Parts I and II: Major Themes of Principles-Focused Evaluation III. Principles-Driven Initiatives with Principles-Focused Evaluations: Exemplars of Principles in Practice III-A.Three Levels of Principles-Based Interventions: Macro (Global), Micro (Program), and Meso (Community) 25. Principles Driving Reform: Evaluation of the Paris Declaration Principles on Aid Effectiveness 26. Discovering and Validating Effectiveness Principles to Help Youth Overcome Homelessness 27. Vibrant Communities Canada: A Principles-Driven Systems Change Initiative and Emergent Example of Principles-Focused Evaluation Potential Part III-B. Three Different Agriculture-Focused Initiatives 28. Collaborative Principles Supporting Shared Commitment: The Global Alliance for the Future of Food 29. Principles Enhancing Coherence: The McKnight Foundation Collaborative Crop Research Program 30. Principles Defining a Field of Agroecology: How Principles Inform and GUIDE Practices IV. Principles for Evaluations and Evaluators 31. Evaluating Evaluation Principles: Examining Principles That Guide Evaluations and Evaluators 32. Outcome Harvesting Evaluation: Practical Application of Essential Principles, Ricardo Wilson-Grau 33. Reflections of a Principles-Focused Evaluator: What's in a Name?, Donna Podems 34. Waking Lumina: A Personal Principles-Based Evaluation Philosophy, Nora F. Murphy V. Principles-Focused Evaluation in Practice: Tools and Checklist 35. Tools for Principles-Focused Evaluation 36. Principles-Focused Evaluation Checklist Conclusion and Final Practice Exercise Epilogue: Eleven Questions, Eleven Principles-Focused Responses

About the Author

Michael Quinn Patton, PhD, is an independent consultant who has been conducting program evaluations since the 1970s. Based in Minnesota, he was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota for 18 years and is a former president of the American Evaluation Association (AEA). His books include Developmental Evaluation, Developmental Evaluation Exemplars, Principles-Focused Evaluation,Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods (now in its fourth edition), and Utilization-Focused Evaluation (now in its fourth edition), among others. He is a recipient of the Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Evaluation Practice Award and the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Evaluation Theory Award, both from AEA, as well as the Lester F. Ward Distinguished Contribution to Applied and Clinical Sociology Award from the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology. Dr. Patton is an active trainer and workshop presenter who has conducted applied research and evaluation on a broad range of issues and has worked with organizations and programs at the international, national, state, provincial, and local levels.


"Gender equity, empowerment, climate mitigation, poverty reduction, peacebuilding--these prevalent programmatic initiatives take many different forms but share principled foundations of action. In this book, Patton shifts the attention of evaluators to the fundamental propositions that drive change, offering a valuable approach for addressing the complexities of many--if not most--evaluation environments."--Ann M. Doucette, PhD, Research Professor, Claremont Graduate University; Director of Special Projects, The Evaluators' Institute "Principles-Focused Evaluation provides a practical toolkit for guiding and shaping the urgent work of shifting institutions, systems, and cultures from maladaptive to adaptive states. Patton builds on his foundational work in utilization-focused evaluation and developmental evaluation. This is a timely and important book for evaluators--and for the social innovators, policy makers, educators, and funders with whom they work."--Stephen Huddart, President and CEO, The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation, Montreal, Quebec, Canada "In the past two decades, Patton has been perhaps the most creative contemporary thinker about how best to advance evaluation practice, with contributions including utilization-focused evaluation, qualitative evaluation methods, process use, complexity concepts, systems change in evaluation, and developmental evaluation, among others. Principles-Focused Evaluation continues Patton's impressive tradition of major breakthrough innovation. This book will undoubtedly expand your thinking and is a 'must read' for evaluation practitioners, scholars, and students. I give it my absolute highest endorsement."--Stewart I. Donaldson, PhD, Director, Claremont Evaluation Center, Claremont Graduate University

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