Theory-Driven Evaluations

Huey T. (Tsyh) Chen,

Theory-Driven Evaluations
"With the publication of Theory-Driven Evaluations, Huey-TsyhChenhas given us an ambitious volume. . . . Indeed, it is theaspirationof this book to provide a conceptual framework that integratesthediverse approaches and paradigms of evaluation. For those of usaccustomed to the rhetoric of the paradigm wars that have beenragingin recent years, it is refreshing to find a text that works soassiduously at reconciliation. . . . There is much that isuseful inChen′s analysis. He gives us a full and thoughtful book thatattemptsno less than the construction of a conceptual framework for allofprogram evaluation. . . . It provides an impressive compendiumofsource material and references spanning not only evaluation, butrelated work in economics and public policy (this alone is worththeprice of the book). . . . Chen′s Theory-Driven Evaluationsprovides a stimulating, even heroic attempt to bring someconceptualintegration to a field that has been too long dominated bymethodological paradigms and procedural particulars."--a prepublication review for Evaluation and Program Planning"Generous use of examples which are well selected and lucidlysummarized."--Contemporary Sociology"Chen introduces a new, comprehensive framework for programevaluation that is designed to bridge the gap between method andtheory-oriented perspectives. . . . For program planners,decisionmakers, scholars, and students, this volume clarifies,illuminatesand provides unique insights into the conception, constructionandimplementation of a wide range of programs. . . . The researchexamples used in the discussion draw upon various areas, such aseducation, welfare, health, criminal justice, job training [and]family construction to attract a wider audience."--Journal of Applied Rehabilitation CounselingProgram evaluation has traditionally emphasized the applicationofsocial science research methods in evaluation activities.However,there is a growing awareness that program theory is vital forbroadening the scope and enhancing the usefulness of programevaluation.In Theory-Driven Evaluations, Huey-Tsyh Chen introduces a new,comprehensive framework for program evaluation that is designedtobridge the gap between the method- and theory-orientedperspectives.He provides an intensive discussion of the nature and functionsofprogram theory, approaches to constructing program theories, andtheintegration of program theory with evaluation processes.Specifictypes of theory-driven evaluations, as well as principles andguidelines for application are developed for meeting differentpolicypurposes. Application of systematic strategies is illustrated byconcrete examples from a variety of evaluation studies indifferentfields.The presentation of this new perspective directly addresses theneedsand concerns in both the professional and applied areas ofprogramevaluation. For program planners, decisionmakers, scholars andstudents, this volume will clarify, illuminate, and provideuniqueinsights into the conception, construction, and implementationof awide range of programs.

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