How to Use Qualitative Methods in Evaluation -- a new volume in the Program Evaluation Kit -- reflects the growing use of qualitative techniques in the evaluation process. The author differentiates the qualitative approach in method and philosophy from more traditional quantitative methods and specifies the kinds of evaluation question for which it is most appropriate. The design decisions and sampling strategies which underlie the method are explained. Patton also includes clearly illustrated step-by-step guides for planning and conducting fieldwork and observations, in-depth interviewing, and analysing, interpreting and reporting results.
Michael Quinn Patton is an independent consultant with more than 40 years’ experience conducting applied research and program evaluations. He lives in Minnesota, where, according to the state’s poet laureate, Garrison Keillor, “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” It was this interesting lack of statistical variation in Minnesota that led him to qualitative inquiry despite the strong quantitative orientation of his doctoral studies in sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota for 18 years, including 5 years as director of the Minnesota Center for Social Research, where he was awarded the Morse-Amoco Award for innovative teaching. Readers of this book will not be surprised to learn that he has also won the University of Minnesota storytelling competition.
He has authored six other SAGE books: Utilization-Focused Evaluation, Creative Evaluation, Practical Evaluation, How to Use Qualitative Methods for Evaluation, Essentials of Utilization-Focused Evaluation, and Family Sexual Abuse: Frontline Research and Evaluation. He has edited or contributed articles to numerous books and journals, including several volumes of New Directions in Program Evaluation, on subjects as diverse as culture and evaluation, how and why language matters, HIV/AIDS research and evaluation systems, extension methods, feminist evaluation, teaching using the case method, evaluating strategy, utilization of evaluation, and valuing. He is the author of Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use and coauthor of Getting to Maybe: How the World Is Changed, a book that applies complexity science to social innovation. His creative nonfiction book, Grand Canyon Celebration: A Father–Son Journey of Discovery, was a finalist for Minnesota Book of the Year.
He is a former president of the American Evaluation Association and recipient of both the Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Award for Outstanding Contributions to Useful and Practical Evaluation and the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for Lifelong Contributions to Evaluation Theory from the American Evaluation Association. The Society for Applied Sociology presented him the Lester F. Ward Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Sociology.
He is on the faculty of The Evaluators’ Institute and teaches workshops for the American Evaluation Association’s professional development courses and Claremont University’s Summer Institute. He is a founding trainer for the International Program for Development Evaluation Training, sponsored by The World Bank and other international development agencies each summer in Ottawa, Ohio.
He has conducted applied research and evaluation on a broad range of issues, including antipoverty initiatives, leadership development, education at all levels, human services, the environment, public health, medical education, employment training, agricultural extension, arts, criminal justice, mental health, transportation, diversity initiatives, international development, community development, systems change, policy effectiveness, managing for results, performance indicators, and effective governance. He has worked with organizations and programs at the international, national, state, provincial, and local levels and with philanthropic, not-for-profit, private sector, international agency, and government programs. He has worked with people from many different cultures and perspectives.
He has three children—a musician, an engineer, and a nonprofit organization development and evaluation specialist—and one granddaughter. When not evaluating, he enjoys exploring the woods and rivers of Minnesota with his partner, Jean—kayaking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing—and occasionally hiking in the Grand Canyon. He enjoys watching the seasons change from his office overlooking the Mississippi River in Saint
An Introduction to Qualitative Methods
When to Use Qualitative Methods
Designing Qualitative Evaluations
Fieldwork and Observation
Analyzing and Interpreting Qualitative Data
Making Methods Decisions
Controversy and Philosophy