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Evaluation in Today’s World

Evaluation in Today’s World
Respecting Diversity, Improving Quality, and Promoting Usability

First Edition

September 2020 | 584 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Recipient of a 2021 Most Promising New Textbook Award from the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA)

Evaluation in Today’s World: Respecting Diversity, Improving Quality, and Promoting Usability
is a timely and comprehensive textbook that guides students, practitioners, and users of evaluations in understanding evaluation purposes, theories, methodologies, and challenges within today’s sociocultural and political context. Veronica G. Thomas and Patricia B. Campbell include discussions of evaluation history, frameworks, models, types, planning, and methods, through a social justice, diversity, and inclusive lens. The authors focus on ethics in diverse cultural contexts, help readers understand how social problems and programs get politicized and, sometimes, framed through a racialized lens, show how to engage stakeholders in the evaluation process, and communicate results in culturally appropriate ways.

Included with this title:

The password-protected Instructor Resource Site (formally known as SAGE Edge)
offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides. Learn more.

About the Authors
Chapter 1 Evaluations of Future: Inclusive, Equity-Focused, Useful, and Used

An Overview of the Book

An Overview of Evaluation

Race, Racism, Social Justice, and a Racialized Perspective

Objectivity and Bias

Culture, Cultural Competence, and Cultural Responsiveness

The Impact of Politics

The Current Climate

Chapter 2 Evaluation Ethics and Quality Standards

A Brief Historical Perspective on Research Ethics

Ethics in Evaluation

Cultural Competence as an Ethical Imperative

Ethical Sensitivity and Dilemmas

Ethical Challenges and Dilemmas Across the Evaluation Process

Ethical Principles and Standards for Evaluators and Evaluations

Evaluation Corruptibility and Fallacies

Evaluator Role, Power, Politics, and Ethics

Interplay of Politics and Ethics

Chapter 3 Historical Evolution of Program Evaluation Through a Social Justice Lens

History of Evaluation Through a Social Justice Lens

Evaluation Prior to Modern Times of the 20th Century

Overview of Evaluation in the 20th Century

Hidden Figures and Histories in Early-20th-Century Evaluation

Evaluation in 1960–2000

Rethinking the Role of Evaluation

Influential Women in Evaluation: 1970s–1990s

Influential 20th-Century Evaluator: An Activity

21st-Century Evaluation: Expanding the Focus

Chapter 4 Evaluation Paradigms, Theories, and Models

The Value of Scientific Paradigms and Theories in Evaluation

Social Science Paradigms and Theories

Program Theory of Change

Evaluation Theories, Models, and Approaches

Distinguishing Evaluation Theories, Models, and Approaches

Classifying Evaluation Approaches and Theories

Evaluation Theories Within a Cultural Context

Evaluation Approaches and Theories: A Summary Description of Selected Examples

Chapter 5 Social Justice and Evaluation: Theories, Challenges, Frameworks, and Paradigms

Social Justice

Marginalized Groups

Theories Providing Context for Social Justice Evaluations

Race, Racism, and Evaluation

Challenges to Social Justice and Evaluation

Efforts to Reduce the Impact of Racism on Evaluation

Evaluation Models and Social Justice

Social Justice–Oriented Evaluation Frameworks and Paradigms

Chapter 6 Evaluation Types With a Cultural and Racial Equity Lens

Classifying Evaluations

Different Types of Evaluations

Developmental Evaluations: Another Alternative to Formative–Summative

Putting It All Together

Chapter 7 Social Programming, Social Justice, and Evaluation

Understanding Social Problems and Social Programs Through a Social Justice Lens

Structural Racism, Social Programming, and Evaluation

Integrating Program Planning and Evaluation Planning

Social Program Evaluations vs. Social Project Evaluations: Distinctions and Implications

Key Program/Project Components Every Evaluator Must Understand

Logic Models: Linking Program Components

Logic Models and Evaluation Planning

Beyond Traditional Linear Logic Models

Chapter 8 Responsive Stakeholder Engagement and Democratization of the Evaluation Process

Who Are Stakeholders?

Valuing Stakeholders and Diverse Stakeholder Engagement

Identifying and Classifying the Right Stakeholders

Democratizing the Evaluation Process With Stakeholders

Relationships, Values, and Stakeholder Engagement

Responsive Stakeholder Engagement

Continuum of Stakeholder Engagement: From Nonresponsive to Responsive

Barriers to Responsive Stakeholder Engagement

Benefits of Responsive Stakeholder Engagement

Six-Step Process for Responsive Stakeholder Engagement

Communicating With Stakeholders

Chapter 9 Planning the Evaluation

Dealing With Power Imbalances During Evaluation Planning

Planning for Culturally Responsive and Social Justice–Oriented Evaluations

Evaluation Planning Activities

Identifying and Involving Stakeholders in Evaluation Planning

Analysis of the Context

Identifying and Clarifying Project Goals

Identifying the Purpose(s) of the Evaluation

Defining Success in Evaluation Planning

Developing Timelines

Identifying Resource Needs

Assembling an Evaluation Team

Evaluation Planning and Management Visualization Tools

Developing a Written Evaluation Plan

Overcoming Pitfalls in Evaluation Planning

Chapter 10 Evaluation Questions That Matter

Why Evaluation Questions That Matter?

Power and Privilege Issues in Formulating Evaluation Questions

Characteristics of Good Evaluation Questions: An Overview

Sources of Evaluation Questions

Prioritizing Evaluation Questions for Diverse Audiences

Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria for Prioritizing Evaluation Questions: Two Approaches

Steps to Identifying, Formulating, and Prioritizing Questions That Matter

Types of Evaluation Questions

Summary of Different Types of Evaluation Questions

Chapter 11 Selecting Appropriate Evaluation Designs


Control and Comparison Groups

Longitudinal Data

Evaluation Designs

Rival Hypotheses and Threats to Validity

The Best Design for the Question

Chapter 12 Defining, Collecting, and Managing Data

Qualitative and Quantitative Data

Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative and Quantitative Data

Ensuring Data Quality

Protection of Human Participants

Using Existing Measures or Developing New Ones

Modes of Data Collection

Data Management

Chapter 13 The Best Analysis for the Data

Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

Quantitative Analysis

Qualitative Analysis

Chapter 14 Reporting, Disseminating, and Utilizing Evaluation Results

Reporting Results

Developing High-Quality, Accessible Reports and Presentations

Visually Representing Data


Using Evaluation Results

Chapter 15 Evaluation as a Business

Perspectives on Doing Evaluation as a Business


Business Knowledge and Skills


Making a Business Financially Viable

Selecting a Business Entity

Developing a Business Plan

Chapter 16 Interconnections and Practical Implications

Objectivity and Bias

Building Cultural Competence

Personalizing a Social Justice Perspective

Reflective Practice and Evaluative Thinking

Applying to Practice

Social Justice Evaluation

Politics and Evaluation

Voices From the Field: Advice for New Evaluators

A Final Thought

Supplemental Resources

Appendix A
Appendix B


Instructor Resource Site

Online resources included with this text

The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides.

Evaluation in Today’s World: Respecting Diversity, Improving Quality, and Promoting Usability by Veronica Thomas and Patricia Campbell stands as a powerful resource for evaluation instructors, practitioners, students, and scholars who desire to understand why and how to conduct socially just and culturally responsive evaluation, and who are looking for an accessible entry point into the discipline as a whole.

American Journal of Evaluation

“Very rarely are issues related to race, class and power discussed so eloquently and effectively within an evaluation text.”

John Ridings
The Institute for Clinical Social Work

Evaluation in Today’s World is a much needed, useful and relevant text, which bridges the evaluation process and methods with our cultural, historical and political climate. It integrates diverse activities, methods and applications that will help prepare students to become successful future practitioners and evaluators.”

Karen Tinsley
Guilford College

“Thomas and Campbell have taken topics that are often only alluded to in program evaluation texts, and brought them to the forefront, highlighting the importance of understanding the diversity of society when developing effective evaluations.”

Marcus-Antonio Galeste
Arizona State University

Evaluation in Today’s World covers the salient features of research and evaluation in clear language and includes the often overlooked impact of cultural awareness and understanding throughout the research process. In an increasingly multicultural and complex society, the authors have created a resource to help budding researchers evaluate their goals, needs, and biases as they enter this fascinating field.”

Brenda S. Gerhardt
University of Dayton

“This is the most comprehensive text on evaluation that I have seen. The section on ethics challenges students to reflect on their own beliefs and values, and how those might cause bias in evaluation.”

Sandra Handwerk
Albany State University

“This text provides a strong voice to support the inclusion of social justice issues in evaluation planning, implementation, analysis, and reporting.”

Debra J. Dirksen
Western New Mexico University

a great perspective on diversity

Dr Xiafei Wang
School Of Social Work, Syracuse University
October 1, 2021
Key features
  • “Voices in the Field” introduce readers to timely, thought-provoking commentaries, and critical assessments or alternative perspectives from scholars and practitioners about relevant issues in evaluation.
  • Reflect and Discuss features present readers with key issues or questions to encourage critical thinking and group discussion.  
  • Case Studies introduce real or hypothetical cases applying a particular theoretical, methodological, or practice issue in evaluation.
  • Task-based activities require readers to do something, either individually or in small groups, involving the application of evaluation-related knowledge or issues covered throughout the book.
  • Pedagogical features such as learning objectives, a glossary of key terms, supplementary resource links, and appendices of checklists and other tools for evaluators reinforce the material.

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