Essentials of Utilization-Focused Evaluation

Michael Quinn Patton, August 2011. Sage publications

Publisher’s description:

“Based on Michael Quinn Patton’s best-selling Utilization-Focused Evaluation, this briefer book provides an overall framework and essential checklist steps for designing and conducting evaluations that actually get used. The new material and innovative graphics present the utilization-focused evaluation process as a complex adaptive system, incorporating current understandings about systems thinking and complexity concepts. The book integrates theory and practice, is based on both research and professional experience, and offers new case examples and cartoons with Patton’s signature humor. ”
Continue reading “Essentials of Utilization-Focused Evaluation”

Making Evaluations Matter: a Practical Guide for Evaluators.

Authors: Cecile Kusters with Simone van Vugt, Seerp Wigboldus, Bob Williams and Jim Woodhill. 2011

“Too often evaluations are shelved, with very little being done to bring about change within organisations that requested the evaluation in the first place. This guide will explain how you can make your evaluations more useful. It will help you to better understand some conceptual issues and appreciate how evaluations can contribute to changing mindsets and empowering stakeholders. On a practical level, it presents core guiding principles and pointers on how to design and facilitate evaluations that matter. Furthermore, it shows you how you can get your primary intended users and other key stakeholders to contribute effectively to the evaluation process. This guide is primarily for evaluators working in the international development sector. However, if you are a commissioner of an evaluation, an evaluation manager or a monitoring and evaluation officer, you too will find it useful”.

The book can now be found here as a PDF version,

UK Evaluation Society 2010 Annual Evaluation Conference

Evaluation in a turbulent world: Challenges, opportunities and innovation in evaluation practice
Date: 22-23 November 2010
Venue: Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham

Abstracts are now invited for this year’s UKES Annual Evaluation Conference. The on-line submission form is available via the conference website The closing date for receipt of submissions is 13 August 2010.

With the effects of the financial crisis still being felt, and with a new coalition government in Number 10, many evaluators find themselves operating in a very different policy environment. In particular the rhetoric has changed from tackling the crisis (a central theme of last year’s conference looking at impact) to talk of austerity and cutting back the public sector, a major source of sponsorship for evaluation. While this environment offers tough challenges, it also presents opportunities – in particular in the development and promotion of new evaluation methodologies, relationships and approaches. More than ever there will be a need to assess what is of value, what has quality and in what circumstances evaluation can contribute to informed policy-making and debate. Continue reading “UK Evaluation Society 2010 Annual Evaluation Conference”

Utilization-focused evaluation for agricultural innovation

Michael Quinn Patton and Douglas Horton
ILAC Brief No 22

Utilization-focused evaluation (UFE) is based on the principle that an evaluation should be judged by its utility. So no matter how technically sound and methodologically elegant, an evaluation is not truly a good evaluation unless the findings are used. UFE is a framework for enhancing the likelihood that evaluation findings will be used and lessons will be learnt from the evaluation process. This Brief, based on the book Utilization-focused evaluation, introduces this approach to evaluation, outlines key steps in the evaluation process, identifies some of the main benefits of UFE, and provides two examples of UFE in the context of programmes aimed at promoting agricultural innovation.

The utilisation of evaluations.

Chapter 3:ALNAP Review of Humanitarian Action in 2005

Peta Sandison

This chapter draws upon a literature review, four case studies of evaluation
utilisation volunteered by CAFOD, MSF(H), OCHA and USAID, semi-structured
interviews with 45 evaluators, evaluation managers and evaluation ‘users’, a
review of 30 sets of terms of reference, and an electronic survey sent to ALNAP
Observer and Full Members (19 evaluation managers and 27 evaluators
responded to the survey).

The researcher was supported by an advisory group composed of representatives
from the British Red Cross Society, CARE International, MSF(H), the Netherlands
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Policy and Operations Evaluation Department), OCHA
and ODI, plus an independent evaluation consultant and the ALNAP Secretariat.

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