“The issue of what constitutes credible evidence isn't about to get resolved. And it isn't going away. This book explains why. The diverse perspectives presented are balanced, insightful, and critical for making up one's own mind about what counts as credible evidence. And, in the end, everyone must take a position. You simply can't engage in or use research and evaluation without deciding what counts as credible evidence. So read this book carefully, take a position, and enter the fray.” -Michael Quinn Patton, Author of Utilization-Focused Evaluation, 4e “I found this text to be very interesting and useful in capturing and presenting varying perspectives in the field. There are some very good points and considerations for students and practitioners in this book.” -Michael Schooley, Centers for Disease Control “Donaldson and colleagues have assembled an insightful and timely collection of papers on the complex issues regarding what constitutes credible evidence in evaluation. This important book offers readers the latest thinking on generating actionable evidence for policy and program decision-making from a wide variety of philosophical perspectives. The book is an indispensable resource for evaluation scholars and practitioners on this longstanding and central debate in the evaluation field.” -Robin Lin Miller, Michigan State University

Placing into perspective the meaning of evidence for evaluation professionals and applied researchers, this text provides observations about the diversity and changing nature of credible evidence, Editors Stewart I. Donaldson, Christina A. Christie, and Melvin M. Mark include lessons from their own applied research and evaluation practice, and suggest ways in which practitioners might address the key issues and challenges of collecting credible evidence. Key Features: Provides summaries of the strengths and weaknesses of the varied approaches to research and evaluation to give readers greater insight and guidance on how to select the appropriate methods for their work. Offers diverse definitions of “evidence” so that readers can evaluate the landscape of this highly debated research issue. Devotes a full chapter to the implications of evidence for contemporary applied research and evaluation practice.

This book is appropriate for a wide range of courses, including Introduction to Evaluation Research, Research Methods, Evaluation Practice, Program valuation, Program Development and Evaluation, and evaluation coursesin Social Work, Education, Public Health, and Public Policy.

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