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.

Ethical and Political Considerations

Evaluation is inextricably linked to ethical and political issues. As has already been stressed, an important consideration when agreeing to carry out an evaluation is the existence of an intention to use the findings in some way. Typically the intended use is by makers of policy when making decisions about the program being evaluated. There is, of course, no guarantee the findings will actually be used. Policy-making is by definition political. A small-scale evaluation focusing on some possible change of practice in a work setting concerns the exercise of power, which can affect the working life and conditions of those involved. Evaluations in public services are linked to social policies and priorities, at root deriving from party-political initiatives, as ...

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