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Contents | 1. Essence | 2. Aproaches | 3. Process | 4. Measuring outcomes | 5. Paradoxes
6. Examples | 7. Jargon | 8. Checklist | 9. Practice tips | 10. Resources

10. Resources and links

There is a large international literature on evaluation. The following books and links are a few starting points. They highlight the different kinds of available resources.

Practice overview

For those people interested in an overview of evaluation theory and practice. If you only wanted to read one book on evaluation it would be:

Patton, Michael Quinn. Utilization-Focused Evaluation, (4th Ed), Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, London, 2008.

This is a theoretical and practical book. The book on the one hand raises many of the fundamental issues about evaluation and on the other has enough practical examples and practice suggestions to be useful

If you were interested in qualitative evaluation and wanted to read a second book on evaluation it would be:

Patton, Michael Quinn. Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods, (4th Ed), Sage Publications,2015.

This book provides a broad overview of qualitative methods in evaluation. For those doing qualitative interviewing Chapter 7 (100 pages) is an excellent introduction with extensive practical tips and advice.

Practical pointers

For those interested in practical help and suggestions:

Wadsworth, Yoland. Everyday Evaluation on the Run, 3rd Edition , Allen & Unwin 2011. (215pp)

This introduction to program evaluation is written for people working in the human services field. It describes a range of strategies that can be used by non-specialist evaluators and shows how evaluation can be built into busy everyday practice.

Wadsworth, Yoland. Do It Yourself Social Research, 3rd Edition, Allen & Unwin, 2011 (203pp)

This book is a useful companion to Everyday evaluation on the run. It includes practical help on strategies such as questionnaires.

Wadsworth, Yoland.Building in Research and Evaluation Human inquiry for living systems, Allen and Unwin, 2010

Community Builders
This site is an interactive electronic clearing house for everyone involved in community level social, economic and environmental renewal including community leaders, community & government workers, volunteers, program managers, academics, policy makers, youth and seniors.

Expert Panel Child Family Community Australia It inlcudes evaluation resources:

  • Community development and needs assessment
  • Choosing and delivering evidence-based programs
  • Developing a culture of evaluation and research
  • Program evaluation
  • Choosing outcomes measures
  • Practitioner experiences

Specific Strategies

For those people interested in specific evaluation strategies there are usually books written on specific strategies and approaches, e.g.

Sample surveys
Australian Bureau of Statistics, An Introduction to Sample Surveys, A Users Guide, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1999

Research with children
Greig, Anne and Taylor, Jayne (1999) Doing Research with Children, Sage Publications, California, 1999.

Focus groups
Rosaline Barbour Doing Focus Groups, Sage, 2007 (170pp)

Narrative research
Lieblich, Amia & Tuval-Mashiach, Rivka & Zibler, Tamar (1998) Narrative Research, Reading, Analysis and Interpretation, Sage publications, California

Evaluation specific Internet resources

Genuine Evaluation Blogging Website
Patricia J Rogers (Aust) and E Jane Davidson (NZ), two highly regarded evaluation practitioners blog about real, genuine, authentic, practical evaluation.

Better Evaluation
A site dedicated to sharing information to improve evaluation.

An international collaboration to improve evaluation practice and theory by sharing information about options (methods or tools) and approaches.

World Bank  This site has good international coverage on reference material relating to evaluation.

Discussion List


EVALTALK is an open, unmoderated list for general discussion of evaluation and associated issues sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and hosted by The University of Alabama. Over a thousand evaluation professionals and students from around the world subscribe to EVALTALK and a number of prominent scholars in the field regularly participate in the discussions. EVALTALK provides an opportunity for subscribers: To learn about recent trends, practices, publications, and job opportunities in the field of evaluation To ask questions about current evaluation projects and share experiences To engage in debates on evaluation theory and practice, and related topics To become more familiar with a diverse group of practitioners from around the globe

To subscribe to EVALTALK, send an e-mail (no subject) to LISTSERV@BAMA.UA.EDU The body of the message should read: SUBSCRIBE EVALTALK yourFirstName yourLastName

Evaluation societies

The Australasian Evaluation Society (AES) is a professional organisation for evaluation practitioners and managers from all levels of government and the wider business community, academics and other individuals interested in evaluation. It holds an international conference each year which enables members to share their evaluation experiences and to participate in seminars conducted by overseas and Australian presenters. Regional groups undertake their own programs of activities including addresses and seminars by international evaluation practitioners.

The American Evaluation Association   is an international professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of program evaluation, personnel evaluation, technology, and many other forms of evaluation.

Canadian Evaluation Society The Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) is made up of a diverse group of individuals who share a common interest in evaluation. Over 1300 individuals and organisations from all regions of Canada and throughout the world belong to CES.