Friday, May 22, 2009

Evaluation Approaches

Evaluation approaches are the various conceptual arrangements made for designing and actually conducting the evaluation process. These approaches are classified below (source: Rosita de Guzman-Santos, 2008):

A. Pseudo-evaluation. These approaches are not acceptable evaluation practice, although the seasoned reader can surely think of a few examples where they have been used.
1. Politically controlled . Information obtained through politically controlled studies is released or withheld to meet the special interest of the holder.
2. Public relations studies or information is used to paint a positive image of an object regardless of the actual situation.

B. Objectivist, elite, quasi-evaluation. These are highly respected collection of disciplined inquiry approaches. The are quasi-evaluation because particular studies legitimately can focus only on questions of knowledge without addressing any questions of value.Such studies are, by definitions, not evaluations since it produce only characterizations without appraisals.
1. experimental research. This is used to determine causal relationships between variables. Its highly controlled and stylized methodology may not be sufficiently responsive to the dynamically changing needs of most human service programs, and thus posed its potential problem.
2. Management information Systems (MIS). This can give detailed information about the dynamic operations of complex programs. However, this information is restricted to readily quantifiable data usually available at regular intervals.
3. Testing Programs. These programs are good at comparing individuals or groups to selected norms in a number of subject areas or to set a standards of performance. However, they only focus on the testee performance and they might not adequately sample what is taught or expected.
4. Objectives-based approaches. These relate outcomes to prespecified objectives, allowing judgments to be made about their level of attainment. Unfortunately, hey only focus on outcomes too narrow to provide basis for determining the value of an object.
5. Content Analysis. This approach is considered a quasi-evaluation as it is not based on value judgment, only based on knowledge, thus not true evaluation. On the other hand, when content analysis judgments are based on values, such studies are evaluation.

C. Objectivist, mass, quasi-evaluation. Accountability is popular with constituents because it is intended to provide an accurate accounting of results that can improve the quality of products and services. However, this approach can quickly turn practitioners and consumers into adversaries when implemented in a heavy-handed fashion.

D. Objectivist, elite, true evaluation. The drawback in these studies can be corrupted or subverted by the politically motivated actions of the participants.
1. Decision-oriented studies. These are designed to provide knowledge based for making and defending decisions. It requires close collaboration between the evaluator and decision-maker allowing it to be susceptible to corruption and bias.
2. Policy studies. These provide general guidance and direction on broad issues by identifying and assessing potential costs and benefits of competing policies.

E. Objectivist, mass, true evaluation. Consumer-oriented studies are used to judge the relative merits of goods and services based on generalized needs and values, along with a comprehensive range of effects. However, this approach does not necessarily help practitioners improve their work, and it requires a very good and credible evaluation to do it well.

F. Subjectivist, elite, true evaluation. Accreditation/certification programs are based on self-study and peer review of organizations, programs and personnel. They draw on the insights, experience and expertise of qualified individuals who use established guidelines to determine if the applicant should be approved to perform specified functions. However, unless performance-based standards are used, attributes of applicants and the processes they preform often are over-emphasized in relation to measure of outcomes or effects.

G. Subjectivist, mass, true evaluation. These studies help people understand the activities and values involved from a variety of perspectives. However, this responsive approach can lead to low external credibility and a favorable bias toward those who participated in the study.
1. adversary approach focuses on drawing out the pros and cons of controversial issues through quasi-legal proceedings. This helps ensure a balanced presentation of different perspectives on the issues, but also likely to discourage later cooperation and heighten animosities between contesting parties if "winners" and "losers" emerge.
2. Client-centered studies address specific concerns and issues of practitioners and other clients of the study in a particular setting. These studies help people understand the activities and values involved from a variety of perspoectves.

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