Theory of Change and its discontents

That Theory of Change (ToC) has rapidly become a mainstream approach to evaluation raises several fundamental questions: are we uncritically adopting the ToC approach? In what contexts are ToCs suitable? And what are the challenges and opportunities in engaging with ToCs? ToC has been described as a way of thinking, a process, and a product.…

Program evaluation and dose response: Application and reflection

In practice, evaluation takes place in a wide range of settings that perhaps constrain an evaluator’s choice of evaluation methods. For example, an evaluation may take place during implementation, rather than starting from the beginning. Or, ideas for interventions may emerge from various sources, affecting how much the evaluator can adopt an ideal evaluation design.…

Evaluations can be scary, even for the evaluator

program evaluation public health

Around the same time last year, I was struggling to find my place in the world of evaluation. Even though I had been taught evaluation theory and practice in graduate school, and gained relevant work experience outside of academia, I still did not feel comfortable considering myself a “program evaluator”. Evaluations, particularly of complex developmental…

Winning the Request for Proposal (RFP) for program evaluation

RFP program evaluation

I want to start off by saying that I don’t like the RFP process. But, if you are doing any type of consulting work, odds are that you will need to respond to RFPs from prospective clients. The purpose of an RFP is to present a problem, and your job is to find the solution.…