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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter comments on Carol Weiss’s 1972 book Evaluation Research: Methods for Assessing Program Effectiveness, an in-depth analysis of many of the crucial and complex issues that plague evaluators and public managers. Weiss explains how the political context in which social programs work and evaluations are implemented could help program managers and evaluators improve service delivery. After summarizing Weiss’s professional and intellectual profile, this chapter considers the influence of her seminal text and the four major threads of her intellectual legacy. More specifically, it examines how evaluation research can help improve public policy-making and how program evaluation studies can be utilized. It also describes theory-based evaluation and why it matters, as well as the implications of the political nature of public programs. Finally, the chapter identifies the challenges involved in using findings for the design of evaluation studies.

Keywords: Carol Weiss, Evaluation Research, social programs, public policy, program evaluation, public programs, evaluation studies

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