You are here

Expedited access to textbooks and digital content

Instructors: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of your transition to online learning, requests for complimentary review copies of our textbooks will be fulfilled through our eBooks partner, VitalSource. By providing you with a digital review copy of the requested textbook(s), we can ensure you have expedited access to our content. If you require special assistance, please contact us at (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or at

The SAGE Handbook of Evaluation

The SAGE Handbook of Evaluation

Edited by:

July 2006 | 632 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

"The Handbook succeeds in capturing and presenting evaluation's extensive knowledge base within a global context. In so doing it provides a useful, coherent, and definitive benchmark on the field's diverse and dynamic purposes, practices, theories, approaches, issues, and challenges for the 21st century. The Handbook is an essential reference and map for any serious evaluation practitioner, scholar, and student anywhere in the world."
- Michael Quinn Patton, author of Utilization-Focused Evaluation

In this comprehensive handbook, an examination of the complexities of contemporary evaluation contributes to the ongoing dialogue that arises in professional efforts to evaluate people-related programs, policies, and practices.

The SAGE Handbook of Evaluation is a unique and authoritative resource consisting of 25 chapters covering a range of evaluation theories and techniques in a single, accessible volume. With contributions from world-leading figures in their fields overseen by an eminent international editorial board, this handbook is an extensive and user-friendly resource organized in four coherent sections:

  • Role and Purpose of Evaluation in Society
  • Evaluation as a Social Practice
  • The Practice of Evaluation
  • Domains of Evaluation Practice
The SAGE Handbook of Evaluation is written for practicing evaluators, academics, advanced postgraduate students, and evaluation clients and offers a definitive, benchmark statement on evaluation theory and practice for the first decade of the 21st century.

"In this all-encompassing handbook, various authors discuss the evaluation of people related programs, policies, and practices...This handbook thoroughly covers all aspects of evaluation, yet it isn't too technical to understand.  It offers everything an organization needs to know to get the most out of evaluation." 

Melvin M Mark, Jennifer C Greene and Ian Shaw
The Evaluation of Policies, Programs and Practices
An Introduction

Eleanor Chelimsky
The Purposes of Evaluation in a Democratic Society
Stewart I Donaldson and Mark W Lipsey
Roles for Theory in Contemporary Evaluation Practice
Developing Practical Knowledge

Patricia J Rogers and Bob Williams
Evaluation for Practice Improvement and Organizational Learning
Thomas A Schwandt and Holli Burgon
Evaluation and the Study of Lived Experience
Jennifer C Greene
Evaluation, Democracy and Social Change
Peter Dahler-Larsen
Evaluation after Disenchantment? Five Issues Shaping the Role of Evaluation in Society
Phil Davies, Kathryn Newcomer and Haluk Soydan
Government as Structural Context for Evaluation
Tineke A Abma
The Social Relations of Evaluation
John Stevenson and David Thomas
Intellectual Contexts
Ove Karlsson Vestman and Ross F Conner
The Relationship between Evaluation and Politics
Helen Simons
Ethics in Evaluation
J Bradley Cousins and Lyn M Shulha
A Comparative Analysis of Evaluation Utilization and Its Cognate Fields of Inquiry
Current Issues and Trends

Elliot Stern
Contextual Challenges for Evaluation Practice
Melvin M Mark and Gary T Henry
Methods for Policymaking and Knowledge Development Evaluations
Elizabeth Whitmore et al
Embedding Improvements, Lived Experience and Social Justice in Evaluation Practice
Robert Walker and Michael Wiseman
Managing Evaluations
Marvin C Alkin, Christina A Christie and Mike Rose
Communicating Evaluation
Robert E Stake and Thomas A Schwandt
On Discerning Quality in Evaluation
Lois-ellin Datta
The Practice of Evaluation: Challenges and New Directions
David Nevo
Evaluation in Education
Andrew Long
Evaluation of Health Services: Reflections on Practice
Ian Shaw with Carol T Mowbray and Hazel Qureshi
Social Work and the Human Services
Nick Tilley and Alan Clarke
Evaluation in Criminal Justice
Osvaldo Feinstein and Tony Beck
Evaluation of Development Interventions and Humanitarian Action
Alan Clarke
Evidence-Based Evaluation in Different Professional Domains
Similarities, Differences and Challenges


`The Handbook succeeds in capturing and presenting evaluation’s extensive knowledge base within a global context. In so doing it provides a useful, coherent and definitive benchmark on the field’s diverse and dynamic purposes, practices, theories, approaches, issues, and challenges for the 21st century. The Handbook is an essential reference and map for any serious evaluation practitioner, scholar and student anywhere in the world'

- Michael Quinn Patton,
author of Utilization-Focused Evaluation

`Readers of this volume will find a set of texts that provide an evocative overview of contemporary thinking in the world of evaluation. This is not a book of simple tips. It does justice to the complex realities of evaluation practice by bringing together some of the best practitioners in the world to reflect on its current state. It is theoretically sophisticated yet eminently readable, anchored in evaluation as it is undertaken in a variety of domains. It is the kind of book that startles a little and makes you think. I highly recommend it'
- Murray Saunders,
University of Lancaster

The Handbook is very successful in presenting an accurate, well-informed and authentic picture of evaluation in the early 21st century and its likely future directions. Readers in the evaluation community should find many of the essays stimulating and rewarding.

Evaluation Journal of Australasia

An excellent text book for anybody interested in conducting evaluation research studies.

Mr Lee Sobo-Allen
School of Healthcare, Leeds University
December 11, 2014

The book provides a very good and broad overview of the field of evaluation research. Too broad for my students, but I do use a text from the book as essential reading.

Dr Masja Van Meeteren
Department of Criminology, Leiden University
August 6, 2014

Is not adopted yet but will perhaps be further on.

Dr Gustav Lidén
Social Science , Mid Sweden University - Sundsvall
February 17, 2014

This text provides extensive knowledge in a coherent way that students will find helpful for research planning, analysis and evaluation.

Mrs Christine Cattermole
UCO, University Campus Oldham
September 5, 2013

Only one chapter herein is relevant to TESOL

Dr Liam Murray
Dept Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
June 25, 2013

This is a very contemporary overview on the topic, applicable to a wide range of research problems, and important for different disciplines. Tables give nice synopses and figures are very helpful for increasing the understanding of the subject.

Professor Sonia Lippke
Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development, Jacobs University Bremen
May 22, 2013

Too specific for my teaching

Mrs Mia Forss
Management , Arcada Polytechnic
May 1, 2013

An excellent set of papers for student studying or undertaking evaluation research at doctoral level

Mr Paul Kiff
Graduate School, University of East London
April 28, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Evaluation, Democracy, and Social Change by Jennifer Greene

Preview this book

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781446270554
ISBN: 9780761973058

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.