Monthly Archives: November 2014

Evaluation Rubrics

How good is this program, really?

An evaluation rubric “paints a picture of what the evidence should look like at different levels of performance” (Davidson, 2013, p. 24). It is a set of descriptions, ideally created by key stakeholders working together, of what particular conditions will look like when a program is performing excellently, satisfactorily, or poorly.

Click link for information and an example for transformation development → Evaluation Rubrics


Role of Worldview in Evaluation Work

Clarifying one’s worldview is essential for the transformative evaluator who believes in being Christian first and evaluator second. The attached file emerged as I clarified my worldview. Currently I am reading several texts that may lead to further clarification, perhaps revision. I encourage you to spend a significant amount of time doing something similar.

The focus of the document is an examination of major scientific concepts related to evaluation work from a Christian perspective. I welcome suggestions and challenges.

Click LINK Worldview in Evaluation

Click category Worldview at the right for other worldview posts.


Frame for Thinking about TE

The attached file is a detailed description of topics to consider while thinking about Transformative Evaluation. There are four sections in the paper.

The first section describes the nature of a conceptual frame as an outcome of frame reflection by which people explore how their own actions may worsen contention, contribute to stalemate, trigger extreme pendulum swings, or move toward pragmatic solution.  It was developed by Schon and Rein (1994) as a way of resolving intractable policy controversies.  I apply this concept to create a frame for transformational development (TD), which is the primary evaluand for TE. Then I describe a frame for exploring TE information needs.

The second section describes implications of TD theory for evaluation design.

The third section discusses the characteristics of development workers that should be considered in planning TE. Since the effectiveness of TD is dependent on how the development worker interacts with community residents and stakeholders, this is an essential element of TE.

The final section describes some examples of TE frames.

Various aspects of this paper may need to be studied several times before you believe that you understand it. I welcome your comments, suggestions and challenges to the substance, as well as suggestions for presenting the material in a more understandable way.

LINK Frame for TE

Monitoring Evangelistic Intent

The primary aim of evangelistic intent in community development is to facilitate development thinking and activities that provoke the question to which the gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer. The attached file describes categories of standards and indicators for evangelistic intent.  I welcome questions, suggestions and challenges.

Clink link Monitoring Evangelistic Intent

For background information on my approach to project monitoring,

Click link

Sin and Grace in Transformative Evaluation

Updated May 2019

“I {God} have created a beautifully ordered world: one that reflected My perfection. Now, however, the world is under the bondage of sin and evil. Every person on the planet faces gaping jaws of uncertainty. The only antidote to this poisonous threat is drawing closer to Me. In My Presence you can face uncertainty with perfect Peace” (Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, May 26).

Examining the dynamics of sin and grace in a community development project is a unique feature of Transformative Evaluation. To review the features of my approach to TE see “Defining Transformative Evaluation.”      Click  LINK

I have posted a discussion of the nature of sin and grace on this site, along with some considerations for planning and implementing TE.       Click 67Sin and Grace

Also I have posted interview or conversation  guides and a list of scriptures to help us develop this aspect of TE in more depth.

Click conversation guide sin

Click conversation guide Grace

Click 67scriptures sin and grace

See also various meditations posted on the site that are tagged “sin” or “grace”.

I pray that you will challenge some of my ideas about this critical area so that I may understand it at a deeper level.

Improving Your Evaluation Work through Reflective Practice

Reflective practice is thoughtful consideration of one’s own professional actions for the purpose of improving one’s professional practice. It has a long history. Various professions encourage their practitioners to engage in this type of professional development, particularly education and medicine.

The attached paper introduces it to program evaluators. I believe it is an essential practice for transformative evaluators because TE includes perspectives and skills that are not common in program evaluators. Reflective Practice can assist you in identifying obstacles that you encounter as you seek to

  • understand a transformative approach to evaluation at a deeper level
  • become more skilled in devising and applying appropriate behaviors in collecting and analyzing valid information related to transformative outputs and outcomes
  • report results in ways that provoke transformative thinking about improving facilitation of transformational community development.

There are many resources on the Internet. Relatively recent books not included in the paper:

Moon. Jennifer A., 2005, Reflection in Learning and Professional Development: theory and practice, London: Kogan

Bolton, Gillie E J, 2010, Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development, Sage Publications

Thompson, Sue and Neil Thompson, 2008, The Critically Reflective Practitioner, Palgrave Macmillan

Click link to the paper: 66Reflective Practice

Principles for Holistically Planning an Evaluation

I define planning holistically as figuring out what God intends for me to do that enters into the work that God is doing around me.  If I am planning an evaluation, what is it that will bring glory to God through the evaluation work?  What is God already doing in what I will evaluate, and how will doing the evaluation enter into that?

The attached file describes four principles for planning an evaluation holistically. Briefly the principles are these.

 1. Base your plans on Scripture.

In a holistic planning process the participants meditate on appropriate Scripture passages throughout the planning exercise.  Weave this meditation throughout the activities of the day and week as a constant reminder that consistency with God’s word is essential for any plan called holistic.

2. Focus the plan on relationships.

Focus holistic planning products and processes on the quality of relationships, with special concern for holiness in those relationships.  Holiness, not shallow piety.

 3. Keep the bigger picture in mind.

A holistic plan describes the context, or the bigger picture of reality, for implementing a particular project.  Such a plan describes how intended results will enable individual and social transformation. Transformation, not just better conditions.

 4. Invite the Holy Spirit to lead the process.

Planning holistically is much more than filling in the boxes in a chart.  It is learning about what God intends for you, and for those around you.

I welcome your comments and suggestions.  Click link for detailed discussion: 65Holistic Planning Principles

Evaluation Books and Papers I Keep Close at Hand

Revised January 2020

Previously I recommended five non-evaluation  books that help me formulate foundational principles for transformative evaluation.  Click link  I am adding a sixth book to the list: Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology, by J. P. Moreland. He describes strategies for resolving issues between faith and science, which is essential for a Christian evaluator.

In an earlier version of this post I said there are two evaluation books that I consider most relevant for transformative evaluators that have a good understanding of the general principles of program evaluation.

Fourth Generation Evaluation, by Egon G. Guba and Yvonne S. Lincoln, is a comprehensive description of constructivist evaluation. This approach, which is an alternative to evaluation approaches that are based on a scientific epistemology, provides the framework for designing and implementing transformative evaluation.

Transformative Research and Evaluation, by Donna M. Mertens, describes evaluation as a means to promote human rights and social justice. This is an important component of transformative evaluation.

Now I recommend a third relevant book:

Evaluation: An Integrated Framework for Understanding, Guiding, and Improving Policies and Programs  by Mark, Melvin M., Henry, Gary T., and Julnes, George. The authors believe that the primary role of evaluation is to assist those involved in making society better to make sense of what they do and the consequences of what they do. Commonsense realism is the underpinning philosophy.

The attached file is a list of other evaluation references that are helpful to me. May they be helpful to you on your journey toward being a transformative evaluator.  Click link: 64EvalFrank Evaluation Books Jan 2020