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.


This chapter deals with how you move from ideas and good intentions to actually getting the work done. It concentrates on the part of the evaluation where data and information are being gathered. Obviously the specific things to be done will vary substantially from one study to another. However, there are some general considerations common to virtually all evaluations. For example, things almost always take longer than you think they will. And it is highly likely that the evaluation will upset some of the people involved. They may see sinister intentions very different from the laudable aims you have carefully agreed with the stakeholders. These are illustrations of two aspects worth serious consideration: realistic planning and relationships.

Saunders (2010) covers the issues involved ...

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