Analysis as a theory-based evaluation approach in the ex post evaluation . The publication organizes numerous concepts of theory-based evaluations (see text. Does the literature on theory-based evaluation suggest a common and clearly defined approach to evaluation and impact evaluation? Does theory-based. Theory-based evaluations have helped open the 'black box' of programmes. An account is offered of the evolution of this persuasion, through the works of Chen.


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Generally, a theory of change includes: Theories of change are referred to by a variety of names, including program theories, impacts pathways, and pathways of change.

Theory based evaluation - WikiEducator

Assumptions are key events or conditions that must occur for the theory based evaluation link to happen. Risks theory based evaluation influences or events outside the intervention that may inhibit the causal link from happening.

Mechanisms are the causal processes that enable the program to produce results. In some cases, theories of change are subdivided into two components: These components can be developed separately, but are often merged into or developed as one theory of change.

Theory-Based Approaches to Evaluation: Concepts and Practices -

Theory based evaluation, there is no consistent terminology for theories of change; different authors may use the same term for different concepts.

Blamey and Mackenzie discuss this issue. Theories of change and realistic evaluation: Peas in a pod or apples and oranges.


Evaluation, 13 4— Theory-Based Approaches to Evaluation There is no agreed classification of theory-based approaches; indeed, in recent years, there has been a proliferation of theory-based approaches and numerous variations within each approach.

In this section, two prominent categories of theory-based evaluations, realistic evaluation and theory based evaluation approaches, are discussed. These descriptions are generic and may not always apply.

For more information on the similarities and differences in theory-based approaches, readers can consult Blamey and Mackenzie or Stame Realistic Evaluation Realistic evaluation is a form of theory-based evaluation developed by Pawson and Tilley They argue that whether interventions work depends on the theory based evaluation mechanisms at play in a specific context.

In a smoking cessation intervention, for example, mechanisms might include peer theory based evaluation to stop or to not stop, fear of health risks, and economic considerations.


For realistic evaluators, the key evaluation questions are, What works? Realistic evaluators are less interested in the outcome-level question, Did the intervention work at a macro level? Realistic evaluation develops theory based evaluation then empirically tests the hypotheses about what outcomes are produced by what mechanisms in what contexts.


The realistic approach tends to be more research-oriented, focusing on the underlying intervention theory and its behavioural assumptions at work, and the theory based evaluation supporting the intervention.

The focus is on the most promising context-mechanism-outcome configurations CMOCswhich show how interventions are meant to work in which populations and under what conditions.

These can be viewed as mini-theories of change or links in an overall theory of change of an intervention. Each CMOC is, in effect, the subject of an theory based evaluation and is tested against the available evidence. Blamey and Mackenziep.

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