In Facilitating Evaluation, Michael Quinn Patton recounts stories of his experiences as an evaluation facilitator. Evaluation facilitation applies and adapts general facilitation knowledge and techniques to the specialized challenges of working with stakeholder groups involved in program evaluation. The purpose of such facilitation is to enhance the relevance, credibility, meaningfulness, and utility of evaluations. Michael Quinn Patton outlines five evaluation facilitation principles that are the organizing framework for addressing how to work with stakeholders to generate evaluation questions, make decisions among methods, interpret findings, and participate in any and all aspects of evaluation, from initial determination of purpose through design and data collection, and on through follow-up to ensure and enhance use. His between-chapter portages are an opportunity to hear different voices and encounter diverse perspectives on evaluation facilitation. In each case, he invited colleagues to write about anything they thought was important to understand and yet neglected in the evaluation literature. The book will be required reading for advanced courses in program evaluation and become an indispensable resource for practitioners in the field.
About the Author
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, Ontario.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 childrena musician, an engineer, and a nonprofit organization development and evaluation specialistand one granddaughter. When not evaluating, he enjoys exploring the woods and rivers of Minnesota with his partner, Jeankayaking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeingand occasionally hiking in the Grand Canyon. He enjoys watching the seasons change from his office overlooking the Mississippi River in Saint
Table of Contents
Volume Editors’ IntroductionPrefaceAbout the AuthorPART A. THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE EVALUATION FACILITATOR Context: My Facilitation Experience and Perspective What Facilitators Do What Is Evaluation?Chapter 1. The Niche of Evaluation Facilitation Facilitating the What Is Evaluation Task Force The Results of Facilitation Facilitation as White-Water Navigating Evaluation Facilitation as a Distinct Form of Facilitation Facilitation Lessons Ten Resources for Explaining and Getting Started in EvaluationChapter 2. Facilitating Evaluation to Enhance Use Evaluation Facilitation Evaluation Facilitation Scenarios Variations in the Need for Facilitation Being Active, Reactive, Interactive, and Adaptive Facilitation Lessons Facilitation Resources for Skill Assessment and DevelopmentChapter 3. The Overarching Principle of Evaluation Facilitation: Be Utilization-Focused Why Use Principles-Focused Evaluation Facilitation GUIDE Dimensions of the Utilization-Focused Principle Summary Facilitation Lessons Additional ResourcesPART B. FIVE OPERATING PRINCIPLES FOR FACILITATING EVALUATION Quick Review Overarching Versus Operating Principles The Evaluation Facilitation Brittle StarChapter 4. Be Guided by the Personal Factor: The First Operating Principle The Personal Factor GUIDE Dimensions of the Personal Factor Principle Effective Practices for Facilitating Evaluation Facilitation Lessons Summary Resources for Applying the Personal Factor PrincipleChapter 5. Engage Through Options: The Second Operating Principle Research on Deciding Among Options What Makes Evaluation Decision Making Challenging for Stakeholders Myriad of Choices GUIDE Dimensions of the Engage Through Options Principle Facilitation Lessons Summary Tools and Resources for Facilitating Engagement With OptionsChapter 6. Observe, Interpret, and Adapt: The Third Operating Principle Adopting an Observation Mindset Adapting in Real Time Adaptive Action as a Framework for Evaluation Facilitation GUIDE Criteria for the Observe, Interpret, Adapt Principle Facilitation Lessons Summary Resources to Support Observation, Interpretation, and AdaptationChapter 7. Embed Evaluative Thinking Throughout: The Fourth Operating Principle Evaluative Thinking GUIDE Criteria for the Evaluative Thinking Principle Facilitation Lessons Summary Additional Resources to Support Facilitating Evaluative ThinkingChapter 8. Invigorate With Leading-Edge Inputs: The Fifth Operating Principle Facilitating at the Leading Edge GUIDE Criteria for the Leading-Edge Principle Summary Leading-Edge Tools and ResourcesChapter 9. Principles-Focused Evaluation Facilitation: Conclusion and a Look Forward Central Theme of the Book Integrating the Principles Integrating Principles in Practice Situation Recognition and Evaluation Facilitation Graphic Recording for Evaluation Facilitation Some Issues Not Addressed in This Book The Future of Evaluation Facilitation Final Offering of Resources to Expand Your Evaluation Facilitation Horizons Other Frameworks for Evaluation FacilitationReferencesIndex