Purposeful Program Theory: Effective Use of Theories of Change and Logic Models

by Sue C. Funnell,  Patricia J. Rogers. March 2011. Available on Amazon.

Product Description

“Program Theory in Evaluation Practice is a ground–breaking reference that teaches how to develop an explicit causal model that links an intervention (project, program or policy) with its intended or observed impacts and using this to guide monitoring and evaluation. Peerless in its explanation of why and how to use and develop program theory, the book is rich with examples and alternative approaches. The book is an invaluable resource to faculty and students as well as professionals in professional development programs, education, social work, and counseling. “

From the Back Cover

“Between good intentions and great results lies a program theory—not just a list of tasks but a vision of what needs to happen, and how. Now widely used in government and not–for–profit organizations, program theory provides a coherent picture of how change occurs and how to improve performance. Purposeful Program Theory shows how to develop, represent, and use program theory thoughtfully and strategically to suit your particular situation, drawing on the fifty–year history of program theory and the authors? experiences over more than twenty–five years.

“From needs assessment to intervention design, from implementation to outcomes evaluation, from policy formulation to policy execution and evaluation, program theory is paramount. But until now no book has examined these multiple uses of program theory in a comprehensive, understandable, and integrated way. This promises to be a breakthrough book, valuable to practitioners, program designers, evaluators, policy analysts, funders, and scholars who care about understanding why an intervention works or doesn?t work.” —Michael Quinn Patton, author, Utilization–Focused Evaluation”

“Finally, the definitive guide to evaluation using program theory! Far from the narrow ?one true way? approaches to program theory, this book provides numerous practical options for applying program theory to fulfill different purposes and constraints, and guides the reader through the sound critical thinking required to select from among the options. The tour de force of the history and use of program theory is a truly global view, with examples from around the world and across the full range of content domains. A must–have for any serious evaluator.” —E. Jane Davidson, PhD, Real Evaluation Ltd.

Workshop: Understanding the effects of development interventions: Theory-based impact evaluation in practice.

A three-day workshop jointly organised by Maastricht University and the University of Antwerp.

Date: April 28-30, 2010
Venue: Institute of Development Policy and Management, Lange Sint Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Focus


In the past few years development organizations in both North and South have focused on improving evaluations of development interventions. As a result, demand for highquality impact evaluation has increased. Impact evaluation refers to the growing field of evaluative practices aimed at assessing the effects of a broad range of policy interventions. As well as enhancing the accountability of public spending in development, it has the potential to be an important learning tool, allowing us to understand what works and why under what conditions. To help impact evaluation to achieve this potential evaluators and policy makers need to open the ‘black box’ of policy interventions. Attention should be paid not only to the changes caused by an intervention but also to understanding how and why these changes have been brought about. In other words interventions should be considered as theories and evaluations are the tools for reconstructing, refining and testing these theories. This is the essence of theory-based evaluation.
The workshop focuses on the concept and application of theory-based impact evaluation in development. It starts with an overview of the key issues in impact evaluation and development effectiveness. Subsequently, the principles of theory-based impact evaluation will be discussed. Particular attention is paid to how a theory of change provides a framework for further inquiry. Starting out from a theory based perspective, different methodological approaches, from review and synthesis of existing evidence to full-scale empirical inquiry, will be presented and illustrated. These methods and modalities can form the basis for an institutional strategy on impact evaluation and learning, which is the subject of the final part of the workshop. Continue reading “Workshop: Understanding the effects of development interventions: Theory-based impact evaluation in practice.”