Realist evaluation workshop, 29 March 2011, the Netherlands
Here is an interesting workshop on “Realist evaluation”, taking place in Wageningen, the Netherlands on 29 March 2011. More information from the organisers:
Realist evaluation – understanding how programs work in their context.
‘Realist evaluation (Pawson and Tilley, 1997) is one type of theory based evaluation. It aims to explore “what works, for whom, in what contexts, to what extent and how”. It adopts a particular understanding of how programs work, and uses a particular format for program theories to help guide evaluation design, data collection and analysis.
Realist evaluation has a particular focus on understanding the interactions between programs and their contexts and the ways that these influence how programs work. Evaluation expert Dr. Gill Westhorp will discuss the concepts and assumptions that underpin this theory based evaluation approach. What is it that realist evaluation brings to the table of evaluating development programs? How is it different from existing approaches in evaluation in development? How does it understand, and deal with, complexity? What new insights can help strengthen the utility of evaluation for development?
During the morning, Gill will introduce the basic assumptions and key concepts in realist evaluation. She will also briefly demonstrate how these ideas can be built into other evaluation models using two examples. These models – realist action research and realist program logic – are participatory models which were designed for use in settings where limited resources, lack of capacity to collect outcomes data, complex programs, and (sometimes) small participant numbers make evaluation difficult. In the afternoon, the practical implications for evaluation design, data collection and analysis will be discussed. Examples and practical exercises will be included throughout the day.
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