Category Archives: Books and journals

A Good Resource on Evaluation (if I may be so bold)

If you are interested in a resource that will give you a quick overview of many topics and issues in evaluation you may find the Encyclopedia of Evaluation useful. More information about the Encyclopedia can be found on the Sage website.


All humans are nascent evaluators. Evaluation has been with us throughout history, and in its modern form has moved from the margins to the centers of organizations, agencies, educational institutions, and corporate boardrooms. No longer a specialized, part-time activity, evaluation has become institutionalized, a common practice, and indeed an important commodity in political and social life.

The Encyclopedia of Evaluation is an authoritative, first-of-its-kind who, what, where, why, and how of the field of evaluation. Covering professional practice as well as academia, this volume chronicles the development of the field—its history, key figures, theories, approaches, and goals. The entries in this encyclopedia capture the essence of evaluation as a practice (methods, techniques, roles, people), as a profession (professional obligations, shared knowledge, ethical imperatives, events, places) and as a discipline (theories and models of evaluation, ontological and epistemological issues).

Most Significant Change Technique

The Most Significant Change (MSC) technique has been developed by Rick Davies and Jessica Dart. They have recently published a guide to using this technique, The ‘Most Significant Change’ (MSC) Technique: A Guide to Its Use

Here is a short excerpt from the Guide about what MSC is.

What is MSC, in a nutshell?

The most significant change (MSC) technique is a form of participatory monitoring and evaluation. It is participatory because many project stakeholders are involved both in deciding the sorts of change to be recorded and in analysing the data. It is a form of monitoring because it occurs throughout the program cycle and provides information to help people manage the program. It contributes to evaluation because it provides data on impact and outcomes that can be used to help assess the performance of the program as a whole.

Essentially, the process involves the collection of significant change (SC) stories emanating from the field level, and the systematic selection of the most significant of these stories by panels of designated stakeholders or staff. The designated staff and stakeholders are initially involved by ‘searching’ for project impact. Once changes have been captured, various people sit down together, read the stories aloud and have regular and often in-depth discussions about the value of these reported changes. When the technique is implemented successfully, whole teams of people begin to focus their attention on program impact.

Journals in evaluation

Journals that are available online have been linked to the appropriate website.

The American Journal of Evaluation
The Canadian Journal of Evaluation
Evaluation: The International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice
Evaluation Review: A Journal of Applied Social Research
Evaluation and Program Planning
Evaluation and Health Professions
Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation
New Directions for Evaluation
Studies in Educational Evaluation
Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation