A Research Agenda for Evaluation


A Research Agenda for Evaluation

9781839101076 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Peter Dahler-Larsen, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Publication Date: 2021 ISBN: 978 1 83910 107 6 Extent: 256 pp
This unique Research Agenda addresses salient current issues in evaluation research, offering a broad perspective on the role of evaluation in society.

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Elgar Research Agendas outline the future of research in a given area. Leading scholars are given the space to explore their subject in provocative ways, and map out the potential directions of travel. They are relevant but also visionary.

This unique Research Agenda addresses salient current issues in evaluation research, offering a broad perspective on the role of evaluation in society.

International expert contributors explore how evaluation research is not only academic research engaged in practical problem-solving, but is also research that takes a critical look at this engagement, providing inspiration for reflexivity among evaluators. Drawing on a range of perspectives, including sociology, organization theory, psychoanalytic theory, and feminism, chapters analyse examples of how evaluation works in a number of arenas, such as education, research, and voluntary work.

Taking a critical look at evaluation as a social phenomenon, this Research Agenda will be a useful resource for scholars and students of evaluation, public administration and management, and public policy. It will also be beneficial in helping practitioners and researchers to understand the major emerging issues within the field of evaluation.
Critical Acclaim
‘Editor Peter Dahler-Larsen has assembled a worthy multi-faceted volume, A Research Agenda for Evaluation, conveyed through the varied lenses of an exceptional international group of evaluation scholars. These lenses feature philosophical, socio-political, and cultural facets of evaluation. Among the key concepts and values included are the importance of cultural wisdom, overcoming the “bureaucratic capture of evaluation” and the persistent practice of “governing by numbers,” the contributions of “collaborative” and “feminist” evaluation traditions, and replacing evaluative “tools of control” with “tools of emancipation.”’
– Jennifer C. Greene, Professor Emerita, University of Illinois, US
Contributors: M Ø. Akselvoll, L.M. Benjamin, J.A. Chouinard, P. Dahler-Larsen, S. Grek, F. Hesselmann, J. Kauko, M.K.T. Pajunen, I. Rafols, E. Raimondo, F. Reynaldo Lopez, C. Schendzielorz, E. St. Denny, A. Stirling, B. Vidaillet


1 Introduction to A Research Agenda for Evaluation:
inspirational themes 1
Peter Dahler-Larsen
2 We do not start anything until everybody is there:
an interview with Fileberto Reynaldo Lopez 15
Peter Dahler-Larsen
3 The thickening modern: developing a research
agenda beyond intensifying rationalism 21
Jaakko Kauko and Mika K. T. Pajunen
4 What if less were more? Exploring new pathways
for the institutionalization of evaluation in
international organizations 43
Estelle Raimondo
5 Fabricating “non-knowledge”: international
organizations and the numerical construction of
an evaluative world 63
Sotiria Grek
6 Beyond programs: toward a fuller picture of
beneficiaries in nonprofit evaluation 81
Lehn M. Benjamin
7 Evaluation people and real people in home–school
cooperation 105
Maria Ørskov Akselvoll and Peter Dahler-Larsen
8 Mapping the ecology of knowledge in
collaborative practice: a look toward future possibilities 129
Jill Anne Chouinard
9 Is feminist policy evaluation possible?
Methodological and theoretical considerations 147
Emily St. Denny
10 Designing indicators for opening up evaluation:
insights from research assessment 165
Ismael Ràfols and Andy Stirling
11 Victims or accomplices? Our strange appetite for
evaluation 195
Bénédicte Vidaillet
12 Rhetorical power in evaluations: tracing the
construction of value-measurement links in
debates on societal impact 209
Felicitas Hesselmann and Cornelia Schendzielorz
13 The future of evaluation: notes for the engaged
evaluation researcher 225
Peter Dahler-Larsen

Index 233
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