Original Research

Case study used to guide the development of effectiveness principles for Principles-Focused Evaluation

Roseanne E. Turner, Paul B. Cromhout
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 8, No 1 | a416 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v8i1.416 | © 2020 Roseanne E. Turner, Paul B. Cromhout | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 July 2019 | Published: 30 January 2020

About the author(s)

Roseanne E. Turner, Private, Cape Town, South Africa
Paul B. Cromhout, Small Projects Foundation, East London, South Africa


Background: Principles-Focused Evaluation (P-FE) is a new evaluation methodology that allows for the evaluation of contextual adaptations to social innovations, which are being implemented in complex situations. Effectiveness principles guide programme implementation by providing direction for the programmes and can also be adapted to decide on choices. These same principles are evaluated.

Objectives: Principles-Focused Evaluation appears to be a useful methodology to support the implementation of social innovation into different, dynamic and complex African systems. However, there are limited empirical reports about the application of this methodology. This article attempts to fill that gap and explores how effectiveness principles can be developed at the start of a developmental, utilisation-focused evaluation to guide project implementation.

Method: This retrospective, exploratory case study of a successfully completed and evaluated project was guided by a classic case study methodology. Data were extracted from programme and evaluation reports and interviews in an attempt to identify explicit and implicit values and norms.

Results: The values thus obtained were reformulated into effectiveness principles by applying the GUIDE framework.

Conclusion: The development of effectiveness principles is essential for P-FE. The process of identifying and articulating effectiveness principles at the start of this project was useful to ensure that both the evaluator and the stakeholders had a thorough understanding of the programme and were fully engaged.


principles-focused evaluation; development evaluation; utilisation-focused evaluation; programme evaluation; mental health; primary healthcare; Eastern Cape


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