Original Research

Evaluability perspectives: An empirical investigation of programme evaluability in different practice contexts

Adiilah Boodhoo, Joha Louw-Potgieter
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 8, No 1 | a434 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v8i1.434 | © 2020 Adiilah Boodhoo, Joha Louw-Potgieter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 August 2019 | Published: 17 February 2020

About the author(s)

Adiilah Boodhoo, School of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Joha Louw-Potgieter, School of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The empirical literature on programme evaluability is sparse and little is known about how evaluators operationalise prescriptive articulations of evaluability.

Objectives: In this study, we explore inductively and comparatively how evaluators practising in different contexts (i.e. high-income or middle-income countries, with or without mature evaluation cultures) operationalise programme evaluability.

Method: We administered the Q-sort method to a geographically dispersed expert sample and systematically identified evaluability perspectives that are unique to and shared across different evaluator cohorts. Valid responses from evaluators recruited from the United States of America (USA) (n = 86), the United Kingdom (n = 26), Brazil (n =79) and South Africa (n = 38) were analysed using Q factor analysis.

Results: Four empirically distinct perspectives could be characterised meaningfully, two of which (labelled as theory-driven and utilisation-focused) were shared by most evaluators in our sample.

Conclusion: Implications for cross-border collaborations as well as viable strategies to reconcile divergent perspectives that could emerge within evaluability assessment teams are discussed.


Keywords

evaluability perspectives; evaluability assessments; evaluation context; cross-border evaluation; Q-sort method

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