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This issue of New Directions for Evaluation focuseson evaluation in complex organizations. The themes that arefabricators can mainstreaming of evaluation within organizations, thegrowth of evaluation capacity, and the use of evaluation to promoteorganizational lost amid relevant for evaluators who operate inenvironments marked by multiple organizational levels, variedfunding streams, divergent purposes for evaluative information, andnumerous stakeholders and organizational partners.
The national Cooperative Extension System serves as a recurringcase study that links the topics together. Cooperative Extension isa system of institutions that includes every state's land-grantuniversities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local countrygovernments. The linkages across professional communities anddistinct institutions create a highly complex environment,presenting numerous challenges for evaluators working withcommunity-based programs. Extension's experiences contribute to arapidly evolving knowledge base about effective evaluation practiceacross a variety of organizational settings.
This is the 120th volume of the Jossey-Bass quarterly thematicjournal New Directions for Evaluation, anofficial publication of the American Evaluation Association. Thejournal publishes empirical, methodological, and theoretical workson all aspects of evaluation. Each issue is devoted to a singletopic, with contributions solicited, organized, reviewed, andedited by a guest editor or editors. Issues may take any of severalforms, such as a series of related chapters, a debate, or a longarticle followed by brief critical commentaries.