The theory of change provides the basis for arguing that the intervention is making a difference and identifies weaknesses in the argument, thus identifying where evidence for strengthening such claims is most needed. The loop is labelled An evaluation of key approaches which logic," also referred to as program logic.
Achievement of Expected Outcomes involves an assessment of progress toward expected outcomes, including immediate, intermediate and ultimate outcomes, with reference to performance targets, intervention reach and intervention design, including the linkage and contribution of outputs to outcomes.
Patton provides an example of an evaluation using contribution analysis. Short-Cycle Logic versus Long-Cycle Logic Theory of Change versus Program Logic - Text version This figure illustrates the differences existing between the short-cycle logic of theories of change that is, the differences between the levels of a results chain or logic model and the long-cycle logic of results chains from activities to ultimate outcomes, in logic models.
The intervention is based on a reasoned theory of change: The realistic approach tends to be more research-oriented, focusing on the underlying intervention theory and its behavioural assumptions at work, and the conditions supporting the intervention. Values improvement in people, programs, and organizations to help them achieve results.
Theory of Change Approaches These approaches involve developing a theory of change for the intervention showing how the specific intervention is intended to work and the assumptions behind the theory. In many contexts, experimental designs, especially the more sophisticated ones, cannot be implemented.
Another way to think of a theory of change is as a logic model that has been described and explained, in particular in terms of the causal linkages between outputs and the different levels of outcome.
Context Matters Theory-based approaches, more than many other evaluation approaches, pay explicit attention to the context of the intervention. Simply put, theories of change explain how the intervention is expected to bring about the desired results rather than just describing the results.
Which links in which theories shall we evaluate? The emphasis is on identifying lessons learned to help improve program implementation and determine whether targets were met. When evaluators are retroactively developing a theory of change, the following sources of information should, at a minimum, be consulted: This opens the black box of change and allows evaluators to better examine the causal link between the intervention outputs and the observed outcomes.
Nothing as practical as good theory: A wide range of other economic and social factors, not to mention other government interventions, may also come into play.
Measurement and attribution of program results Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, chap. Often the development of a counterfactual may be difficult or undesirable e. In the centre of the figure, there are a set of five boxes arranged vertically, representing the results chain.
This is good practice for results-based management and is encouraged where appropriate. However, the benefits of fully engaging stakeholders throughout the evaluation outweigh these concerns Fetterman et al. On theory-based evaluation winning friends and influencing people.
Empowerment evaluation has four steps: The activities of the intervention were implemented. Understanding contribution, rather than proving attribution, becomes the goal.
Context must be part of the evaluation framework, and specific contexts, whether within or outside the control of the intervention, can enhance or detract from how well the intervention works.
These factors are often essential in making causal inferences and need to be part of the evaluation design. Effective use of theories of change and logic models. In evaluations involving an operational approach to assessment of core issue five e.
What is the aim of our smoking cessation program? They argue that whether interventions work depends on the underlying mechanisms at play in a specific context. Evaluation Practice, 15 179— When developing a theory of change, the context may be explicitly identified i.
The focus is on participant ownership; the evaluation is oriented to the needs of the program stakeholders rather than the funding agency. Use of evidence-based strategies with adaptations to the local environment and culture.This web page from Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat provides an outline of some of the key concepts of theory based approaches to evaluation.
The general application of a variety of different approaches is discussed along with some advice on the potential applications for government agencies.
This approach to evaluation focuses on the practicali-ties of defining successful outcomes and success cases (Brinkerhoff, ) and uses some of the processes from theory-driven evaluation to determine the linkages, which may take the form of a logic model, an impact model, or. Two approaches are particularly useful when framing an evaluation of community engagement programs; both engage stakeholders.
In one, the emphasis is on the importance of participation; in the other, it. This document introduces some of the key concepts of theory-based approaches to evaluation. It is hoped that readers will be encouraged by the information and advice provided in this document and will explore the use (e.g., through pilot evaluations) of theory-based approaches to evaluation in a.
Evaluation Approaches. An evaluation approach is a general way of looking at or conceptualising evaluation, which often incorporates a philosophy and a set of values.
How to Write an Evaluation Plan and Report Overview for AmeriCorps Grantees Office of Research & Evaluation. Session Purpose • Provide a basic understanding of the key components of an evaluation plan and report.
Session Overview • What is an evaluation plan and why enable others to replicate the evaluation approach and objectively.Download