Discussions about applying complexity ideas and methods to evaluation have been around for some time, and there is now some ‘push-back’ from sceptics who see these as simply avoiding scrutiny and accountability.
Michael Patton ‘s new book Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use (published by Guilford Press) goes beyond the theory to present many, many examples that show how to practically enact these ideas and methods, and the value this can add.
Michael Patton will launch and discuss the book on 7/21, Wed, from 6-8pm at the Park Hyatt in DC., 1201 24th Street NW. The event is sponsored by The Evaluators’ Institute.
If you can’t make it to this session, you might be able to attend Michael Patton’s expert lecture at the November conference of the American Evaluation Association (see the searchable conference program for more information about sessions).
Session Title: Development Evaluation for Complex Systems: Quality as Speed and Adaptability Expert Lecture Session 323 to be held in Lone Star B on Thursday, Nov 11, 3:35 PM to 4:20 PM Sponsored by the Systems in Evaluation TIG
Presenter: Michael Quinn Patton, Utilization-Focused Evaluation, firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Traditional methodological criteria of quality such as validity, reliability, generalizability, and attribution specificity are often fixed and static. Speed, agility, responsiveness and adaptability can be perceived as threats to rigor when program evaluation is conducted within closed system assumptions, including being able to standardize interventions, predetermine outcome measures, and control uncertainty. Developmental evaluation, in contrast, supports rapid feedback, emergent designs, and adaptability in open and complex adaptive systems characterized by high degrees of uncertainty, nonlinearity, and turbulence. Speed, agility, and adaptability, often considered threats in rigor under traditional evaluation designs , become criteria of quality under conditions of complexity. This session will examine speed and adaptability as alternative criteria of quality. The session is based on the presenter’s new book ‘Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use.’
[Disclosure - I received a free copy of 'Developmental Evaluation']