Responsive Evaluation

Responsive evaluation is an approach to the formal evaluation of educational and social service programs. It takes the issues and concerns of various stakeholders as a point of departure to determine the quality and worth of a program or practice. It favors personal experience and draws upon the ordinary ways people perceive quality. More than other evaluation approaches, it focuses on the meaning and context and the cultural plurality of people. Robert Stake coined the term responsive evaluation in the mid-1970s, and his ideas have opened new vistas to evaluation. This entry provides an overview of the relevance, original ideas, development, and strands within responsive evaluation.


When responsive evaluation was introduced by Stake, it was characterized by the fact that it takes the concerns and issues ...

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