DE 201: A practitioner’s guide to developmental evaluation

Dozois, E., Langlois, M. and Blanchet-Cohen, N.
Date published
01 Jan 2010
Research, reports and studies
Assessment & Analysis, Evaluation-related

Developmental evaluation has emerged fairly recently as a way to support adaptive learning in complex and emergent initiatives. Combining the rigour of evaluation with the flexibility and imagination required for development, this new form of evaluation brings critical thinking to bear on the creative process in initiatives involving high levels of uncertainty, innovation, emergence, and social complexity (Gamble, 2008).

As a relative newcomer to the field of evaluation, developmental evaluation has comparatively few resources associated with it. In 2008, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation published A Developmental Evaluation Primer (Gamble, 2008) to capture some of the high level principles associated with this type of work. The primer provides a basic foundation for developmental evaluation, describing core elements, identifying the necessary skills and capacities, and touching on some of the issues and challenges associated with this type of evaluation.