Dealing With Complexity in Development Evaluation: A Practical Approach

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9781483344249: Dealing With Complexity in Development Evaluation: A Practical Approach

Recognizing that complexity calls for innovative, conceptual, and methodological solutions, Dealing with Complexity in Development Evaluation by Michael Bamberger, Jos Vaessen, and Estelle Raimondo offers practical guidance to policymakers, managers, and evaluation practitioners on how to design and implement complexity-responsive evaluations that can be undertaken in the real world of time, budget, data, and political constraints. Introductory chapters present comprehensive, non-technical overviews of the most common evaluation tools and methodologies, and additional content addresses more cutting-edge material. The book also includes six case study chapters to illustrate examples of various evaluation contexts from around the world.

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About the Author:

Michael Bamberger has been involved in development evaluation for fifty years. Beginning in Latin America where he worked in urban community development and evaluation for over a decade, he became interested in the coping strategies of low-income communities, how they were affected by and how they influenced development efforts. Most evaluation research fails to capture these survival strategies, frequently underestimating the resilience of these communities – particularly women and female-headed households. During 20 years with the World Bank he worked as monitoring and evaluation advisor for the Urban Development Department, evaluation training coordinator with the Economic Development Department and Senior Sociologist in the Gender and Development Department. After retiring from the Bank in 2001 he has worked as a development evaluation consultant with more than 10 UN agencies as well as development banks, bilateral development agencies, NGOs and foundations. Since 2001 he has been on the faculty of the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET). Recent publications include: (with Jim Rugh and Linda Mabry) RealWorld Evaluation: Working under budget, time, data and political constraints (2012 second edition); (with Marco Segone) How to design and manage equity focused evaluations (2011); Engendering Monitoring and Evaluation ( 2013 ); (with Linda Raftree) Emerging opportunities: Monitoring and evaluation in a tech-enabled world (2014); (with Marco Segone and Shravanti Reddy) How to integrate gender equality and social equity in national evaluation policies and systems (2014).

Review:

This volume provides useful guidance to development evaluation specialists to deal with their increasingly complex contexts and tasks. (Mark Ginsburg)

The book shows, through a meticulous review of academic studies and some specific cases of real evaluations, that complex development interventions can be evaluated effectively and some of the techniques that make this possible. (John Mathiason)

This is the ′nuts and bolts′ book that evaluation practitioners have been waiting for. Authored by highly experienced evaluators and grounded in real life examples from all parts of the world it illuminates the core ideas of complexity theory, makes sense of abstruse systems concepts and guides the reader through the contemporary maze of program theory, mixed methods and web based information technologies. A lucid and comprehensive treatment of the evaluation state of the art it is a must-have text for emerging evaluators, advanced evaluators and evaluation managers operating in uncertain, turbulent and conflict ridden environments. (Robert Picciotto)

This is an extremely useful book when managing and carrying out evaluations of the increasingly complex nature of international development. It should be required reading for everyone involved in assessing results of development cooperation.

(Per ∅yvind Bastøe)

This book is impressive in its breadth and depth of coverage of a topic increasingly on the minds of evaluation practitioners. It provides much needed practical guidance and valuable conceptual insights in an area that’s often discussed but rarely well understood. The book will appeal to a wide range of experienced evaluation professionals, emerging evaluators and students of evaluation. (Penny Hawkins)

This is one of the most important books ever published in the field of development evaluation. Dealing with complex systems is a premier challenge for evaluators working in real life situations. As a practitioner in the field I cannot emphasize the value of this book enough. The authors tackle the issue of complexity and its critical significance from both theoretical and practical points of view. They offer concrete ways in which evaluators and organizations can deal effectively with complexity. The editors, each one of them an eminent authority in the field, have put together a group of authors who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Highly recommended to evaluation commissioners and practitioners, as well as those with an interest in the scientific aspects of evaluation approaches and methodologies.

(Juha I. Uitto)

This is the first book that seeks to operationalize a complexity perspective into mainstream development evaluation, focusing on the specificities of this broad based sector, encompassing multiple objectives, institutions, contexts, constituencies and beneficiaries. The main conclusions can speak then to larger audiences of evaluators, program designers, managers, and researchers throughout the world, making a very useful contribution to evaluation culture and practice. (Mita Marra)

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