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Developmental Evaluation
Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use

Michael Quinn Patton

375 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
Paperback
June 2010
ISBN 978-1-60623-872-1
Cat. #3872
Price: $54.00 $45.90
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Hardcover
June 2010
ISBN 978-1-60623-886-8
Cat. #3886
Price: $90.00 $76.50
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e-Book
March 2011
ISBN 978-1-60918-091-1
PDF format
Price: $54.00 $45.90
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“Patton's goal for this book is to teach evaluators about development evaluation (DE), a groundbreaking, complexity-based evaluation approach that aims to help social innovators working on extremely difficult problems in complex, dynamic environments....Patton uses engaging stories, conceptual frameworks, side-by-side comparison tables, extended evaluation case studies, menus of evaluation questions and methods, and cartoons to define, explain, and illustrate this new approach to evaluation. Dense with information and layers of insight....For evaluators who encounter situations that do not lend themselves to either formative or summative evaluation or who are working with social innovators in both program development and evaluation roles, Developmental Evaluation is invaluable.”

American Journal of Evaluation


“Draws together sophisticated concepts and models from an extraordinary array of disciplines, such as ecology, business, sociology, and international development. It includes the work of thought leaders and practitioners from around the globe and is explicit about the need for more collaboration and input to continuously inform and develop this evaluation framework. Seasoned readers of Patton's earlier works will instantly recognize the classic Patton style, complete with rich narrative stories, wry wit, and clever cartoons—trappings purposefully used to not only engage the reader, but also bring about clearer understanding and meaning....This book is a must-read for any evaluator, as it will change the way you see the world around you and how you view and conduct your practice.”

Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation


“Patton is the originator of developmental evaluation, and his decades of experience in the broader context of utilization-focused evaluation...radiate throughout the text, providing a rich source for evaluators at all levels of expertise—the reader is in good hands....A rich text, brimming with Patton's years of experience and the wisdom of his esteemed colleagues....Patton writes with emotion and effectively meshes storytelling with fundamentals to deepen the reader's understanding of developmental evaluation. For newcomers to the field, experienced evaluators, and social innovators alike, this book can serve to instill excitement about program evaluation and a broadened sense of its usefulness for creating social change.”

Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology


“Proust wrote that 'the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.' In this book, Patton brings new eyes to evaluation landscapes. He illustrates the distinct contribution that developmental evaluation can make in addressing the dynamic complexity that often challenges evaluation efforts. Evaluators will see themselves among the stories Patton shares. The concepts and ideas are accessible and the case examples provide a diverse array of teachable vignettes, making the book ideal for classroom use. This is a most enjoyable read that offers lots of new learning, even for an evaluation veteran!”

—Ann M. Doucette, PhD, Director, The Evaluators’ Institute, The George Washington University


“There is a real hunger for this book among social innovators, funders, policymakers, and educators. The book is sure to become dog-eared as it is read, used, and reread to help evaluators conduct their work in a manner consistent with the complexity of the challenges they are addressing.”

—Brenda Zimmerman, PhD, Director, Health Industry Management Program, Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada


“In true Michael Quinn Patton style, this book successfully extends both the theory and practice of evaluation in significant and timely ways. Solutions to the world’s most pressing social problems are neither predictable nor known; developmental evaluation is just what the field needs to evaluate the complex realities of today’s organizations and communities. This book is a 'must read' for anyone committed to understanding how, where, when, and for whom social innovations are achieving their goals.”

—Hallie Preskill, PhD, Executive Director, Strategic Learning and Evaluation Center, FSG Social Impact Advisors, Seattle, Washington


“Patton pulls back the curtain to reveal that there is no great Oz of evaluation. This book reminds us that when we are working in complex systems we are better off acknowledging how little we know from the outset—and then acting on continual feedback—rather than pretending we already have all the knowledge needed to succeed. Patton challenges evaluators to relentlessly adapt, react, change, and innovate to work toward the best outcomes.”

—John B. Bare, PhD, Vice President, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia
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