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Practical approaches for researchers and users
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Social research practitioners and others working in the public and voluntary sectors, in academia and consultancy are increasingly under pressure to provide policy-related evidence with limited resources and rising expectations. Demystifying evaluation is an accessible introductory guide setting the foundations for tackling those challenges, explaining the options open to evaluators, their merits and uses, and how to make appropriate choices of research methods.

Drawing on his experience of policy and programme evaluations for the public sector and outside, David Parsons provides a practical roadmap cutting across different evaluation theories. He covers issues such as managing expectations of evaluation, using and mixing quantitative and qualitative methods, engaging stakeholders and providing action-orientated approaches to help end-users.

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157 8 EMERGING CHALLENGES FOR EVALUATION AND EVALUATORS • Moving beyond ad hoc evaluation by integrating development and policy design • Balancing rising user expectations with diminishing resources • Shortening decision-making timeframes and possibilities for real-time analysis • Building confidence and credibility through proactive engagement in evaluation • Tackling relativism and proportionality imaginatively and constructively • Next steps for evaluators, professional networking and guidance Introduction The previous chapters show how evaluators now

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6362 DEMYSTIFYING EVALUATION 4 CONDUCTING PROCESS EVALUATION • Understanding the different types of process evaluation and where to use them • Distinguishing between process evaluation, self-evaluation and action research • The focus of process evaluation – assessing achievements, effectiveness and quality • Understanding the main options and choices for process evaluation methodologies • Identifying and avoiding common pitfalls in conducting process evaluation. Introduction After the groundwork laid down by compilation and composition, evaluators come to

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8382 DEMYSTIFYING EVALUATION 5 CONDUCTING ECONOMIC EVALUATION • Placing economics into evaluation practice via the four types of economic evaluation • Simple economic evaluations looking at cost description and cost minimisation • Cost-effectiveness and cost avoidance approaches in evaluation • Cost-utility evaluations • Cost-benefit evaluations • Using sensitivity analysis to strengthen economic evaluation • Avoiding common pitfalls in economic evaluation Introduction A well-designed process (or impact) evaluation can show accountabilities and how well a

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103 6 CONDUCTING IMPACT EVALUATION • Outcomes, intermediate impacts and impacts – getting to grips with the jargon • Understanding ‘gross’ and ‘net’ impacts, attribution and the counterfactual • Use of randomised controlled trials, scope and limitations of fully experimental impact evaluation methods • Partial or quasi-experimental methods as a practical impact measurement alternative • Using non-experimental evaluation approaches to estimate impacts • The use of qualitative approaches to assessing impact and contributions • Avoiding pitfalls in impact

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Part One Governance and evaluation

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Part Two Participation and evaluation

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Part Three Partnerships and evaluation

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Part Four Learning from evaluation

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103 Evidence & Policy • vol 14 • no 1 • 103–20 • © Policy Press 2018 • #EVPOL Print ISSN 1744 2648 • Online ISSN 1744 2656 • https://doi.org/10.1332/174426416X14788831396548 Accepted for publication 12 September 2016 • First published online 11 November 2016 Reluctant to learn? The use of evaluation to improve EU cohesion policy implementation in Polish and Spanish regions Dominika Maria Wojtowicz, domwojtowicz@gmail.com Kozminski University, Poland Tomasz Kupiec, t.kupiec@evaluation.pl Evaluation for Government Organizations, Poland For many European Union

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