Recommend after reflecting

Revised June 23, 2014

I define a recommendation as a statement offered as worthy of acceptance or approval by stakeholders.  Based on available evidence, knowledge and experience the evaluator is saying that it is reasonable for stakeholders to adopt the action included in the statement.

In transformative evaluation there are two types of recommendations. The first type is what you expect to see in any program evaluation report: description (based on evidence) of changes to implement to improve the chances that program goals and objectives will be achieved efficiently and effectively.

The second type is description of changes to increase the likelihood that the program will enable individual or social transformation regardless of the program goals and objectives.

In-depth prayerful reflection will enhance both types of recommendations.

Paulo Freire’s description of critical reflection is an excellent guide to planning reflection activities that lead to recommendations that really matter. Critical reflection includes dialogical conversation that is vocationally focused (i.e., centered on overriding mission) that involves critical thinking (not just brainstorming) to empower people to initiate humanizing change. For a more detailed discussion go to page 21 in Evaluating Transformational Development Outcomes on this site. I encourage you to comment, perhaps starting a dialogue that will help me and others deepen understanding of this topic/issue.

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