Evaluation Use and Decision-Making in Society

A Tribute to Marvin C. Alkin

Edited by:
Christina A. Christie, University of California, Los Angeles
Anne Vo, University of California, Los Angeles

A volume in the series: Evaluation and Society. Editor(s): Stewart I. Donaldson, Claremont Graduate University. Katrina L. Bledsoe, Education Development Center.

Published 2015

This volume addresses a fundamental and highly debated issue in the evaluation field – the use of evaluation information for decision-making. Chapter authors honor the contributions of Professor Marvin C. Alkin to the evaluation use literature and advance our thinking on the topic by exploring a wide range of issues related to the theoretical and practical challenges of using evaluation information to make informed, evidence-based decisions. Readers will come away from this volume with a new and clearer understanding of the theoretical, contextual, methodological, and political dimensions of use and with direction for practice. Chapters are written by leading evaluation scholars, including Ernest House; Stewart Donaldson and Tarek Azzam; Eric Barela; Richard D. Nunneley, Jr., Jean A. King, Kelli Johnson, and Laura Pejsa; Eleanor Chelimsky; Michael Quinn Patton; and Wanda D. Casillas, Rodney K. Hopson and Ricardo L. Gomez.

Evaluation Use and Decision-Making in Society: A Tribute to Marvin C. Alkin will be of great interest to evaluation students, scholars and practitioners. This volume has scholarly application for those who desire a state-of-the-art resource for the latest insights and perspectives on one of the most pressing issues that the evaluation field faces today, while also serving as a useful guide for both novice and experienced evaluation practitioners. It is appropriate for use in a variety of evaluation courses including Introduction to Evaluation and Procedural Issues in Evaluation as well as topical seminars such as Evaluation Use and Decision-Making.

Foreword, Anne T. Vo. Preface, Christina A. Christie. 1. Setting the Stage for Understanding Evaluation Use and Decision-Making, Christina A. Christie. 2. Decision Making via Evaluation: What’s Marv’s Opinion Worth? Ernie House. 3. Tending the Garden of Evaluation Theory: Flourishing Trees and PhDs, Stewart I. Donaldson and Tarek Azzam. 4. Evaluation Use and the Internal Evaluator: A Balancing Act, Eric Barela. 5. The Value of Clear Thinking about Evaluation Theory: The Example of Use and Influence, Richard D. Nunneley, Jr., Jean A. King, Kelli Johnson, and Laura Pejsa. 6. A Strategy for Improving the Use of Evaluation Findings in Policy, Eleanor Chelimsky. 7. The Third Perspective: Uniting Accountability and Learning Within an Evaluation Framework That Takes a Moral-Political Stance, J. Bradley Cousins, Katherine Hay, and Jill Chouinard. 8. Making Culturally Responsive Decisions in Evaluation Practice, Wanda D. Casillas, Rodney K. Hopson, and Ricardo L. Gómez. 9. Misuse: The Shadow Side of Use, Michael Quinn Patton. 10. Toward Deepened Understandings of Evaluation Use and Decision Making in Society: Lessons Learned, Challenges, and Opportunities, Anne T. Vo.