Credible and Actionable Evidence
The Foundation for Rigorous and Influential Evaluations
- Stewart I. Donaldson - Claremont Graduate University, USA
- Christina A. Christie - University of California, Los Angeles, USA
- Melvin M. Mark - Pennsylvania State University, USA
Addressing one of the most important and contentious issues challenging applied research and evaluation practice today—what constitutes credible and actionable evidence?—this volume offers a balanced and current context in which to analyze the long-debated quantitative-qualitative paradigms. In the Second Edition, the contributors, a veritable “who’s who” in evaluation, discuss the diversity and changing nature of credible and actionable evidence; offer authoritative guidance about using credible and actionable evidence; explain how to use it to provide rigorous and influential evaluations; and include lessons from their own applied research and evaluation to suggest ways to address the key issues and challenges. Reflecting the latest developments in the field and covering both experimental and non-experimental methods, the new edition includes revised and updated chapters, summaries of strengths and weaknesses across varied approaches, and contains diverse definitions of evidence. Also included are two new chapters on assessing credibility and synthesizing evidence for policy makers. This is a valuable resource for students and others interested in how to best study and evaluate programs, policies, organizations, and other initiatives designed to improve aspects of the human condition and societal well-being.
"Donaldson, Christie and Mark's thorough book on credible and actionable evidence provides a comprehensive overview of how thinking about this topic has evolved to its present state in the program evaluation community. There can never be a last word on the topic, but this is as good a current snapshot as one might find. I recommend it."
“The book is very well constructed in terms of building blocks to develop what the editors are addressing. The division into sections is a good example of strong organizational approach to a topic. The quality of the individual chapters is exemplary…[G]ood writing and solid expertise in compiling various aspects of the debate around research evaluation.”
“A huge strength of the text is the discussion of research decisions within a social/cultural/political context. This is a critical conversation for students to have about applied research.”
"High quality papers on an important issue written by some of the top scholars in the field. A must read for those interested in the topic."
Rigor generating credible evidence that influences decisions and action: that's the heady vision of an experimenting society. This book, bringing together evaluation's best thinkers and most astute practitioners, realistically explains why it's hard to achieve while inspirationally portraying how we can -- and sometimes do --get there. A book for anyone interested in evaluations that make a difference.
"'What is credible and actionable evidence?', and 'How can we provide it?' are challenging, but fundamental, issues in evaluation. Experts across disciplines and perspectives have different views on the meaning and content of these concepts, and they often propose different strategies and methods for addressing these concerns. Credible and Actionable Evidence makes an essential contribution to this discussion by providing a platform for experts to productively discuss these questions, in order to understand the nature of evidence and exploit possible solutions. It is a great resource for anyone who is interested in enhancing the quality of evidence in their evaluation or applied research."
Somewhat advanced for my undergraduate courses.