Evaluation researchers are tasked with providing the evidence to guide programme building and to assess its outcomes. As such, they labour under the highest expectations - bringing independence and objectivity to policy making. They face huge challenges, given the complexity of modern interventions and the politicised backdrop to all of their investigations. They have responded with a huge portfolio of research techniques and, through their professional associations, have set up schemes to establish standards for evaluative inquiry and to accredit evaluation practitioners. A big question remains. Has this monumental effort produced a progressive, cumulative and authoritative body of knowledge that we might think of as evaluation science? This is the question addressed by Ray Pawson in this sequel to Realistic Evaluation and Evidence-based Policy. In answer, he provides a detailed blueprint for an evaluation science based on realist principles.
Chapter Three: A Complexity Checklist
A Complexity Checklist
A century ago the Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt foresaw that ours would be the age of ‘the great simplifiers’ and that the essence of tyranny was the denial of complexity …. What we need are the great complexifiers, men who dare not only to understand what they are about, but ...