Rigour (-mortis) in evaluation

Reynolds, M. (2015). Rigour (-mortis) in evaluation. Evaluation Connections: The European Evaluation Society Newsletter, June 2015, Special Edition, pp.2-4.

URL: http://europeanevaluation.org/sites/default/files/...

Abstract

Evaluation-in-practice can be regarded as a confluence of interactions between three broad idealised sets of stakeholders – the evaluand, evaluators, and commissioners of evaluations. Elsewhere I have suggested two contrasting manifestations in which these interactions might be expressed; one as an ‘evaluation-industrial complex’ (similar in form to the ‘military-industrial complex’ originally used by Dwight Eisenhower in 1961), and another as a more benign ‘evaluation-adaptive complex’ (Reynolds, 2015).

Building on the idea of an iron triangle that empowers the military-industrial complex, I represented the relationships of evaluation-in-practice as a triadic interplay involving six activities that influence the evaluation process. Here I focus on only one of the six activities – commissioning – and I summarise what it might look like for an evaluation-adaptive complex.

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