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.

Evaluation Designs

‘Design’ refers to the overall strategy of an evaluation. It is not the particular method or methods you will use, such as interviewing people, but more the general approach taken. As Catherine Hakim (2000, p. 1) puts it when talking about research design in general, stressing the similarities to building design:

Design deals primarily with aims, uses, purposes, intentions and plans within the practical constraints of location, time, money and availability of staff. It is also very much about style, the architect’s own preferences and ideas (whether innovative or solidly traditional) and the stylistic preferences of those who pay for the work and have to live with the final result. (emphasis in original)

The stress on practical constraints, and on the importance of ...

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