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A Practical Guide to Evaluation, Second Edition

Second Edition

Carl Brun

Publication Date - November 2013

ISBN: 9780190615468

275 pages
5.9 x 8.9 inches


Evaluation of social and education services leads to better practice, however many practitioners find the language of evaluation difficult to conceptualize. A Practical Guide to Evaluation presents the mechanisms and processes of evaluation with a clear eye toward the impact evaluation has for the long-term productivity and success of practices and agencies. Emphasizing theory-driven evaluation, Brun uses his extensive experiences as a practitioner, administrator, educator, and evaluator to apply research skills to agency evaluations. The book utilizes a circular six-step Evaluation Decision-Making Model to discuss every stage of the evaluation process, highlighting the model's applicability to different types of evaluations in different professional settings.
The new edition of the book has been reformatted as a workbook with tear-out checklists, exercises, and decision-making tasks for each chapter, so students and practitioners will have an opportunity to practice the skills taught. The new format also makes the book an invaluable guide that students will use in their work after graduation. Unlike many evaluation manuals, which focus purely on theory, A Practical Guide to Social Service Evaluation uses literature reviews and logic models, and real-world examples throughout the text to help social service practitioners connect theory to planning and evaluation.

New to this Edition

  • Workbook format includes tear-out worksheets, checklists, and exercises for each stage of the evaluation process
  • Chapters of the first edition have been divided into smaller chapters to better emphasize content


  • Categorizes evaluations into three types: exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory and explains the different applications of qualitative or quantitative methods for each
  • Organized around a circular six-step Evaluation Decision-Making Model
  • Each chapter includes case examples, illustrations, critical thinking questions, references, and website resources

About the Author(s)

Carl Brun (PhD, Ohio State University; AM, University of Chicago) is professor of social work at Wright State University, where he serves as department chair and MSW program director. Brun served as an evaluator for over fifteen social service evaluations, including small, private agencies and state-wide public agencies. He has published numerous articles, co-authored research and evaluation reports, and is a member of the American Evaluation Association.

Table of Contents

    Section One - Purpose and Scope of Evaluation
    Chapter 1. Purpose of Evaluation
    Chapter 2. Scope of Evaluation
    Section Two - Value-Driven Evaluation Decisions
    Chapter 3. SCREAM
    Chapter 4. Ethical Guidelines for Evaluations
    Section Three - Negotiating with Stakeholders
    Chapter 5. Politics of Evaluation
    Section Four - Theory-Driven Evaluation Decisions
    Chapter 6. Developing a Logic Model
    Chapter 7. Conducting Literature Reviews of Evidence-Based Practice
    Section Five - Data-Driven Evaluation Decisions
    Chapter 8. Research Methods
    Chapter 9. Qualitative Research Designs: Exploratory Evaluation Questions
    Chapter 10. Quantitative Research Designs: Explanatory Evaluation Questions
    Chapter 11. Mixed-Methods Research Designs: Descriptive Evaluations
    Section Six - Documenting Evaluating Decisions: Coming Full Circle
    Chapter12. Ongoing Evaluation Reports
    Appendix A: Evaluation Decision-Making Questions Outline

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