11 Apr The Evaluation Enterprise
A critical view
Nicoletta Stame e Jan-Eric Furubo, Routledge, 2018
“From its early roots in the 1960s, evaluation has emerged as a well developed international profession. But, is it? As evaluators we typically ask questions like: ‘What has been accomplished?’; ‘Where are we?’ Yet we have failed to ask these same questions of ourselves as evaluators and of our profession. This book assembles an international line-up of eminent scholars who ably address these issues. This is a book that is well worth reading.” – Marvin C. Alkin, Emeritus Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
“A longstanding mantra of evaluation has been the admonition to speak truth to power. To do so we must speak truth to each other, truth about evaluation’s strengths and weaknesses, achievements and shortcomings, exemplars and failures, past disappointments and future hopes. In short we must speak truth to each other about all aspects of the evaluation enterprise. This book’s contributors speak their truths. Listen well. Then formulate and speak yours.” Michael Quinn Patton, author of Principles-Focused Evaluation: The GUIDE
Today, evaluation is part of governing systems and is supported by powerful institutions. It is taken for granted that evaluation leads to betterment. However, evaluation itself is seldom analyzed from a critical perspective. In this book, Jan-Eric Furubo and Nicoletta Stame have assembled an international line-up of distinguished experts and emerging scholars to fill this void.
Examining evaluation from a critical – or evaluative – perspective, each contribution in this book offers a systematic and critical insight into the broader relationship between evaluation and society. Divided into three parts, the various chapters ask questions such as:
• What are the consequences of the institutionalization of evaluation?
• Has the professionalization of evaluators favored their action in the public interest?
• Is the money spent on evaluation worth it?
• Is the market of evaluation allowing real competition for the best services?
The answers to these questions demonstrate that the constitutive effects of the social practice of evaluation can also be the suppression of other forms of knowledge and the favoring of certain notions about societal development and political and administrative processes.