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Essentials of Utilization-Focused Evaluation

Essentials of Utilization-Focused Evaluation

First Edition

August 2011 | 488 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc


Based on Michael Quinn Patton's best-selling Utilization-Focused Evaluation, this briefer book provides an overall framework and essential checklist steps for designing and conducting evaluations that actually get used. The new material and innovative graphics present the utilization-focused evaluation process as a complex adaptive system, incorporating current understandings about systems thinking and complexity concepts. The book integrates theory and practice, is based on both research and professional experience, and offers new case examples and cartoons with Patton's signature humor.

Step 1. Assess and Build Program and Organizational Readiness for Utilization-Focused Evaluation
Step 2. Assess and Enhance Evaluator Readiness and Competence to Undertake a Utilization-Focused Evaluation
Step 3. Identify, Organize, and Engage Primary Intended Users: The Personal Factor
Step 4. Situation Analysis Conducted Jointly With Primary Intended Users
Step 5. Identify and Prioritize Primary Intended Uses by Determining Priority Purposes
Step 6. Consider and Build in Process Uses if and as Appropriate
Step 7. Focus Priority Evaluation Questions
Step 8. Check That Fundamental Areas for Evaluation Inquiry Are Being Adequately Addressed: Implementation, Outcomes, and Attribution Questions
Step 9. Determine What Intervention Model or Theory of Change Is Being Evaluated
Step 10. Negotiate Appropriate Methods to Generate Credible Findings That Support Intended Use by Intended Users
Step 11. Make Sure Intended Users Understand Potential Methods Controversies and Their Implications
Step 12. Simulate Use of Findings: Evaluation's Equivalent of a Dress Rehearsal
Step 13. Gather Data With Ongoing Attention to Use
Step 14. Organize and Present the Data for Interpretation and Use by Primary Intended Users: Analysis, Interpretation, Judgment, and Recommendations
Step 15. Prepare an Evaluation Report to Facilitate Use and Disseminate Significant Findings to Expand Influence
Step 16. Follow Up With Primary Intended Users to Facilitate and Enhance Use
Step 17. Metaevaluation of Use: Be Aaccountable, Learn, and Improve
Summary and Conclusion

"A well-written and interesting presentation of a complex subject."

Melvin L. Musick, Pepperdine University

“Essentials provides an updated and refined U-FE process that reflects the evolving nature of the evaluation field and evaluation use, addresses past criticisms, and provides a process that is more easily followed, iterative as it is...In writing this book, Patton appeared to follow the wisdom of Albert Einstein, who said, ‘Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.’ Patton has done this with Essentials of Utilization Focused Evaluation...The book offers practical exercises at the end of each chapter. These are not exercises for which one can go back and find the answer in the book, but rather applications that require a person to reflect and think. This is in keeping with the U-FE approach, which provides a framework requiring reflection, critical thinking, and flexibility in order to apply it appropriately.”

Donna Podems, Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
American Journal of Evaluation

I really like this book and may use it in a future offering of the class. However, this work is a bit more specific about U-FE and its broader approach than specific methodological and analytic tools used in evaluation. In the future, I plan to use this book in conjunction with another text that has more specific information about evaluation methods and analysis.

Dr Robert Lytle
Criminal Justice Dept, Univ Of Arkansas-Little Rock
October 15, 2021

It's a great book and it complements my other eval texts. Thanks.

Dr Eric Mundy
Public Admin & Urban Stds Dept, University of Akron
September 14, 2012

Excellent resource for my doctoral level students!

Cheryl Poth
Educational Psychology , Univ of Alberta
June 28, 2012
Key features

Key Features

  • Organized in a logical, sequential order, taking the reader step-by-step through the process of designing and conducting an evaluation, and getting it used
  • Integrates complex dynamic systems understandings into the utilization-focused evaluation process, providing readers with cutting edge thinking on evaluation
  • Includes discussion of meta-evaluation, an important new direction in evaluation derived from the 2010 revision of the Joint Committee standards
  • Includes case examples, illustrations, and cartoons in each chapter, together with practice exercises for every step to help readers apply what they've learned

Sage College Publishing

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