Credible and Actionable Evidence: The Foundation for Rigorous and Influential Evaluations

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9781483306254: Credible and Actionable Evidence: The Foundation for Rigorous and Influential Evaluations
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Addressing one of the most important and contentious issues challenging applied research and evaluation practice today what constitutes credible and actionable evidence this volume offers a balanced and current context in which to analyze the long debated quantitative qualitative paradigms In the Second Edition the contributors a veritable who s who in evaluation discuss the diversity and changing nature of credible and actionable evidence offer authoritative guidance about using credible and actionable evidence explain how to use it to provide rigorous and influential evaluations and include lessons from their own applied research and evaluation to suggest ways to address the key issues and challenges Reflecting the latest developments in the field and covering both experimental and non experimental methods the new edition includes revised and updated chapters summaries of strengths and weaknesses across varied approaches and contains diverse definitions of evidence Also included are two new chapters on assessing credibility and synthesizing evidence for policy makers This is a valuable resource for students and others interested in how to best study and evaluate programs policies organizations and other initiatives designed to improve aspects of the human condition and societal well being Placing into perspective the meaning of evidence for evaluation professionals and applied researchers the contributors to this book a veritable who s who in evaluation provide observations about the diversity and changing nature of credible evidence The editors include lessons from their own applied research and evaluation and suggest ways in which practitioners might address the key issues and challenges of collecting credible evidence The Second Edition offers updated thoughts on each chapter s topic as well as two new chapters that address assessing credibility and implications on policy analysis The Second Edition covers experimental and nonex

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About the Author:

Stewart I. Donaldson is Professor and Director of the Claremont Evaluation Center, and Dean of the Schools of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation and Community & Global Health at Claremont Graduate University.  Dean Donaldson continues to develop and lead one of the most extensive and rigorous graduate programs specializing in evaluation.  Dr. Donaldson is currently serving as the Director of the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program and recently served a 3-year term on the AEA Board. He leads the Certificate for the Advanced Study of Evaluation Program at Claremont (a distance education program for working professionals) and has taught thousands of graduate students and working professionals participating in online courses, workshops, webinars, and various other e-learning experiences.  He is a fellow of the Western Psychological Association, serves on the Boards of the International Positive Psychology Association and EvalPartners, and the Editorial Boards of the American Journal of Evaluation, New Directions for Evaluation, Evaluation and Program Planning, and the Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation.  Professor Donaldson has authored or co-authored more than 200 evaluation reports, scientific journal articles, and chapters and his recent books include Credible and actionable evidence: The foundation of rigorous and influential evaluations (this volume); Practical program design and redesign: A theory-driven approach to program development and developmental evaluation (forthcoming); Evaluation for an equitable society (forthcoming); Theory-driven positive psychology: A culturally responsive scientific approach (forthcoming); Emerging Practices in International Development Evaluation (2013); The Future of Evaluation in Society: A Tribute to Michael Scriven (2013); Teaching Psychology Online: Tips and Strategies for Success (2012); Social Psychology and Evaluation (2011); Advancing Validity in Outcome Evaluation: Theory and Practice (2011); Applied Positive Psychology: Improving Everyday Life, Health, Schools, Work, and Society (2011);  What Counts as Credible Evidence in Applied Research and Evaluation Practice? (2008); Program Theory-Driven Evaluation Science: Strategies and Applications (2007); Applied Psychology: New Frontiers and Rewarding Careers (2006); and Evaluating Social Programs and Problems: Visions for the New Millennium (2003). Dr. Donaldson has been honored with Early Career Achievement Awards from the Western Psychological Association and the American Evaluation Association.  In 2013, he was honored with the American Evaluation Association’s Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for sustained lifetime written contributions to advancing evaluation theory and practice, and was elected President of the American Evaluation Association. 

Review:

Donaldson, Christie and Mark's thorough book on credible and actionable evidence provides a comprehensive overview of how thinking about this topic has evolved to its present state in the program evaluation community. There can never be a last word on the topic, but this is as good a current snapshot as one might find. I recommend it.--William R. Shadish

"Donaldson, Christie and Mark's thorough book on credible and actionable evidence provides a comprehensive overview of how thinking about this topic has evolved to its present state in the program evaluation community. There can never be a last word on the topic, but this is as good a current snapshot as one might find. I recommend it."--William R. Shadish, University of California, Merced

"The book is very well constructed in terms of building blocks to develop what the editors are addressing. The division into sections is a good example of strong organizational approach to a topic. The quality of the individual chapters is exemplary...[G]ood writing and solid expertise in compiling various aspects of the debate around research evaluation." --Audrey J. Penner, Holland College and University of Prince Edward Island

"High quality papers on an important issue written by some of the top scholars in the field. A must read for those interested in the topic."--Ernie House

Rigor generating credible evidence that influences decisions and action: that's the heady vision of an experimenting society. This book, bringing together evaluation's best thinkers and most astute practitioners, realistically explains why it's hard to achieve while inspirationally portraying how we can -- and sometimes do --get there. A book for anyone interested in evaluations that make a difference. --Michael Quinn Patton

"'What is credible and actionable evidence?', and 'How can we provide it?' are challenging, but fundamental, issues in evaluation. Experts across disciplines and perspectives have different views on the meaning and content of these concepts, and they often propose different strategies and methods for addressing these concerns. Credible and Actionable Evidence makes an essential contribution to this discussion by providing a platform for experts to productively discuss these questions, in order to understand the nature of evidence and exploit possible solutions. It is a great resource for anyone who is interested in enhancing the quality of evidence in their evaluation or applied research."--Huey T. Chen

"The book is very well constructed in terms of building blocks to develop what the editors are addressing. The division into sections is a good example of strong organizational approach to a topic. The quality of the individual chapters is exemplary...[G]ood writing and solid expertise in compiling various aspects of the debate around research evaluation."

--Audrey J. Penner, Holland College and University of Prince Edward Island

"A huge strength of the text is the discussion of research decisions within a social/cultural/political context. This is a critical conversation for students to have about applied research."

--Matthew J. Zagumny, Tennessee Technological University

"'What is credible and actionable evidence?', and 'How can we provide it?' are challenging, but fundamental, issues in evaluation. Experts across disciplines and perspectives have different views on the meaning and content of these concepts, and they often propose different strategies and methods for addressing these concerns. Credible and Actionable Evidence makes an essential contribution to this discussion by providing a platform for experts to productively discuss these questions, in order to understand the nature of evidence and exploit possible solutions. It is a great resource for anyone who is interested in enhancing the quality of evidence in their evaluation or applied research."--Huey T. Chen

-Donaldson, Christie and Mark's thorough book on credible and actionable evidence provides a comprehensive overview of how thinking about this topic has evolved to its present state in the program evaluation community. There can never be a last word on the topic, but this is as good a current snapshot as one might find. I recommend it.---William R. Shadish, University of California, Merced

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