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Monday, September 16 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Frameworks for program evaluation: considerations on research, practice and institutions

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Ghislain Arbour  (University of Melbourne)

Evaluation frameworks are currently an important concern in evaluation practice, especially for organisations who desire to organise their evaluation activities. But the reflections and decision in that domain are plagued with imprecisions and ambiguities regarding the constitutive dimensions of frameworks. This renders more difficult the identification of needs and potential answers in their selection or development.

In response, this paper provides a model to analyse frameworks for program evaluation organised around four dimensions. The model states that a framework for evaluation is an intellectual framework, made of concepts and or theories (first dimension: types of ideas) about an object related to evaluation (second dimension: object), where the said concepts and theories can be positive and/or normative (third dimension: analytical perspective). These three dimensions provide the means to describe, explain or judge an evaluation related matter. A fourth and optional dimension, the institutional character of a framework, allows an evaluation framework to become a form of regulation for behaviours related to program evaluation (fourth dimension: institutional dimension).

In essence, this paper will raise our awareness about the kinds of theoretical "boxes" we encounter in evaluation so we can get better at relying on them, and even turn them into influential policies when it counts.

avatar for Ian Patrick

Ian Patrick

Director, Ian Patrick & Associates
Dr. Ian Patrick has wide experience in the evaluation, design and management of social sector programs. This includes a strong background in design and implementation of M&E systems, conduct of program evaluations, strategic planning, analysis and research, and training and academic... Read More →

avatar for Ghislain Arbour

Ghislain Arbour

Senior Lecturer, The University of Melbourne
Doctor Ghislain Arbour is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne where he coordinates the Master of Evaluation.*Research and consultancy*A primary research interest of Dr Arbour is the clarification of necessary concepts in the analysis and judgement of the performance of... Read More →

Monday September 16, 2019 2:00pm - 2:30pm AEST