Evaluation research can assess the value and effectiveness of interventions and innovations involving people. While this has often been on a grand scale, this book focuses on small-scale projects carried out by an individual or small group, typically lasting for weeks or at most a few months, at a local rather than national level. Using limited jargon and featuring integrated, real-world examples, this second edition offers a clear, accessible background to evaluation and prepares you to undertake your own small-scale evaluation research project. Key features include discussion of: • Different approaches to evaluation and how to choose between them • The advantages and disadvantages of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) • Realist evaluation and its increasing importance • The centrality of ethical and political issues • The influence and opportunity of the Internet Tightly focused on the realities of carrying out small-scale evaluation, Small-Scale Evaluation is a highly practical guide covering the needs of both social scientists and others without this background. Colin Robson is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Human & Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield.

The Advantages of Collaboration

As an evaluator it is virtually impossible for you to do a good job by relying solely on your own resources. You need the cooperation of others, if only to gain access to people, or to provide you with information. The active involvement of all those involved in the program is vital if you are to achieve a quality evaluation which has some chance of being both useful and used.


Anyone who has a stake, or interest, in an evaluation (in the sense that they are involved in or affected by it) is a stakeholder. Potentially this could be a very wide audience, but the key players are typically:

  • Policy-makers and decision-makers: those responsible for taking decisions about the setting up, ...
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