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Encyclopedia of Evaluation

Encyclopedia of Evaluation

First Edition

October 2004 | 520 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

All humans are nascent evaluators. Evaluation has been with us throughout history, and in its modern form has moved from the margins to the centers of organizations, agencies, educational institutions, and corporate boardrooms. No longer a specialized, part-time activity, evaluation has become institutionalized, a common practice, and indeed an important commodity in political and social life.

The Encyclopedia of Evaluation is an authoritative, first-of-its-kind who, what, where, why, and how of the field of evaluation. Covering professional practice as well as academia, this volume chronicles the development of the field—its history, key figures, theories, approaches, and goals. From the leading publisher in the field of evaluation, this work is a must-have for all social science libraries, departments that offer courses in evaluation, and students and professional evaluators around the world.

The entries in this Encyclopedia capture the essence of evaluation as a practice (methods, techniques, roles, people), as a profession (professional obligations, shared knowledge, ethical imperatives, events, places) and as a discipline (theories and models of evaluation, ontological and epistemological issues).

International Scope

Despite the fact that evaluation practice is not institutionalized in the same way around the world, the encyclopedia recognizes the international growth of the profession, due in large part to organizations such as UNICEF, the World Bank, and USAID. Entries cover the following: Afghanistan, Belgium, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Israel, Netherlands, Niger, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, and Uganda.

In addition, the international group of authors includes contributions from more than a dozen nations. There are a number of stories about evaluation practice around the world that are set off as sidebars in the text. These stories provide a glimpse into the nature of evaluation practice in a diverse set of circumstances, delineate the common and uncommon issues for evaluators around the world, and point to the complexities of importing evaluation from one culture to another.

Interdisciplinary Methodological Coverage

Much of the practice of evaluation has grown out of the social science research tradition. While psychological methods and psychometrics continue to be useful, evaluation research today draws from a wide range of disciplines, including anthropology, education, political science, literary criticism, systems theory, and others. This Encyclopedia covers all of the relevant methodologies, including both qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Evaluators and Theories

The Encyclopedia of Evaluation includes significant coverage of the major figures in the field throughout its history. Many of these figures are well known for a particular theory or approach, and whenever applicable, the entries make this connection for the reader as well as provide references for further reading. Good examples include Michael Quinn Patton and Utilization-Focused Evaluation, David Fetterman and Empowerment Evaluation, Daniel Stufflebeam's CIPP Model of Evaluation, and Huey Chen and Theory-driven Evaluations.

Key Themes

• Concepts, Evaluation
• Concepts, Methodological
• Concepts, Philosophical
• Concepts, Social Science
• Ethics and Standards
• Evaluation Approaches and Models
• Evaluation around the World, Stories
• Evaluation Planning
• Evaluation Theory
• Laws and Legislation
• Organizations
• People
• Publications
• Qualitative Methods
• Quantitative Methods
• Representation, Reporting, Communicating
• Systems
• Technology
• Utilization

Key Features

• More than 100 contributors from around the world
• Single, affordable volume with nearly 600 entries arranged alphabetically
• Entries written by an international team of experts, including narratives that depict evaluation practice around the world
• Reader's Guide arranges entries into 18 thematic categories to facilitate browsing among core topics

Editorial Board

Ross Connor, University of California, Irvine
Lois-Ellin Datta, Consultant
Melissa Freeman, University at Albany
Rodney Hopson, Duquesne University
Saville Kushner, University of the West of England, U.K.
Yvonna S. Lincoln, Texas A&M University
Cheryl MacNeil, Community Activist and Evaluation Consultant
Donna M. Mertens, Gallaudet University, Washington DC
James Mugaju, UNICEF
Zenda Ofir, EvalNet
Michael Quinn Patton, Union Institute and University
Hallie Preskill, University of New Mexico
Debra Rog, Vanderbilt University
Patricia Rogers, Evaluation Practitioner, Researcher, and Educator
Thomas A. Schwandt, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Michael Scriven, Auckland University, New Zealand
Elizabeth Whitmore, Carleton University, Canada

List of Entries
Reader's Guide
List of Contributors
About the Editor
About the Contributors
Entries A-W
Author Index
Subject Index

In this new encyclopedia, veteran professor of education Sandra Mathison leads a team of 108 contributing experts in documenting the development of the field of evaluation and in defining its fundamental concepts and methods. . . . This groundbreaking guide should serve both students and professionals in evaluation.

John R.M. Lawrence
East Carolina University
Lawrence Looks at Books

"The helpful readers' guide provides an overview of the types of information included. Concepts, ethics, approaches and models, organizations, and qualitative and quantitative methods are some of the areas that are covered. The encyclopedia will be most useful in academic libraries and institutions with evaluation programs."

Linda Scarth
Key features

The Encyclopedia of Evaluation:

  • covers concepts, procedures, and issues that are directly related to the field of evaluation.
  • highlights the major theorists associated with evaluation.
  • provides insight into the advances that are occurring within the field across the globe.
  • features entries from the top names in evaluation.
  • Is written in an accessible style and includes many user friendly features, such as suggestions for further reading.


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ISBN: 9781506332819

ISBN: 9780761926092

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.

This title is also available on SAGE Research Methods, the ultimate digital methods library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.