Michael Quinn Patton’s Facilitating Evaluation: Principles in Practice is the first book of its kind to explain in depth and detail how to facilitate evaluation processes with stakeholders. Using the author’s own stories of his experiences as an evaluation facilitator, the book illustrates the five evaluation facilitation principles that are the organizing framework for addressing how to work with stakeholders to generate evaluation questions, make decisions among methods, interpret findings, and participate in all aspects of evaluation. Ultimately, this book will help readers perform facilitation to enhance the relevance, credibility, meaningfulness, and utility of evaluations. “A must-read for anyone considering a high-impact evaluation!” –Margaret Lombe, Boston College

The Fifth Operating Principle

The Edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

Hunter S. Thompson (1937–2005)
Founder of the gonzo journalism movement

The leading-edge principle: Invigorate facilitation with leading-edge inputs and possibilities.

Rationale: Evaluation facilitation offers opportunities to introduce those involved to innovative possibilities, emergent trends, creative approaches, new knowledge, and leading-edge ideas. Doing so can energize, stimulate, and open up new pathways for the group to consider.

The principle in practice: Evaluation facilitators must be up-to-date and aware of what’s happening and emerging at the leading edge if they are to offer those possibilities during facilitation. Then it’s a matter of situation recognition and ...

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