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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Understanding mixed methods approaches in evaluation involves understanding the philosophical stances, theoretical perspectives, and practical strategies that have emerged in the evaluation world. Building on such realization, this chapter provides a critical overview of why and how mixed methods have been used in evaluation for decades. After clarifying the definition of mixed and multimethods in evaluation, the chapter identifies five main paradigms underlying the use of mixed methods in contemporary evaluation practice (postpositivist, constructivist, pragmatic, transformative, and dialectical pluralism). Next, real-world evaluations are used to illustrate the assumptions and beliefs of such paradigms across a variety of dimensions (axiology, ontology, epistemology, methodology). The chapter also looks forward to future directions for a more informed use of mixed methods in evaluation.

Keywords: constructivism, dialectical pluralism, evaluation, mixed methods, postpositivism, pragmatismc, transformative

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