Feminist Evaluation and Research

Theory and Practice

Edited by Sharon Brisolara, Denise Seigart, and Saumitra SenGupta

Paperbacke-bookprint + e-book
April 29, 2014
ISBN 9781462515202
Price: $47.00
368 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"
April 29, 2014
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $47.00
368 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $94.00 $51.70
368 Pages

This thought-provoking book explores the 'whats,' 'whys,' and 'hows' of integrating feminist theory and methods into applied research and evaluation practice. Illustrative cases drawn from U.S. and international studies address a range of social and health issues. The book provides an overview of feminist theory and research strategies as well as detailed discussions of how to use a feminist lens, practical steps and challenges in implementation, and what feminist methods contribute to research and evaluation projects. Reflections at the close of each section invite the reader to consider key questions and common themes across the chapters. With a focus on social justice models, the book covers ways to conduct feminist research and evaluation in effective, innovative, and culturally competent ways in diverse social and cultural contexts.

“The feminist evaluation and research principles, and the reflective questions raised in the first section, are explored throughout the volume and well illustrated by the authors’ own experiences. There is an honesty in the volume about the realities of undertaking research and evaluation that places women at the center, particularly in places where equity and inclusion for women cannot be taken for granted….It sets the scene for renewed understandings and reinvigorated conversations about how feminist evaluation and research might engage with peoples around the globe.”

American Journal of Evaluation

“Suitable for both entry-level and advanced scholars, this book offers an introduction to feminist theory and methodology as utilized within evaluation and research designs across global contexts and a range of social issues. It presents key theories and concepts while addressing the tensions between doing research and evaluation, with a particular focus on social justice models. Concise, thought-provoking editorial comments identify important points of agreement and debate across the chapters. Readers will come away with a clear sense of what feminism looks like in evaluation and research practice and what it can potentially yield, as well as a grasp of the main issues and challenges of using a feminist approach.”

—Wanda S. Pillow, PhD, Department of Education, Culture, and Society, University of Utah

“Researchers and evaluators will find this text enlightening and useful. Reading this book gave me greater knowledge of and appreciation for feminist theory, research, and evaluation. The editors are quite savvy in addressing feminist evaluation worldwide, rather than focusing entirely on a Western framework. The book incorporates perspectives from a range of geographic and cultural areas currently facing difficult dilemmas regarding gender and ways to achieve a more balanced society.”

—Wendy L. Hicks, PhD, Department of Criminal Justice, Loyola University New Orleans

“I plan to adopt this book for my graduate social work research classes because it provides such a smooth integration of theory and practical applications. The book clarifies the differences between research and evaluation and between gender-based and feminist research, as well as areas of overlap. It dares to tackle some of the most challenging issues in feminist research: the role of the researcher/evaluator, values, power differentials, rigor and bias, and more. Examples of feminist research and evaluation from around the globe are presented in a way that enables the reader to understand and follow the methods used. This is a great addition to my research library.”

—Lacey Sloan, PhD, MSSW, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, College of Staten Island, City University of New York

Table of Contents

I. Feminist Theory, Research and Evaluation

1. Feminist Theory: Its Domain and Applications, Sharon Brisolara

2. Research and Evaluation: Intersections and Divergence, Sandra Mathison

3. Researcher/Evaluator Roles and Social Justice, Elizabeth Whitmore

4. A Transformative Feminist Stance: Inclusion of Multiple Dimensions of Diversity with Gender, Donna M. Mertens

5. Feminist Evaluation for Nonfeminists, Donna Podems

First Reflection

II. Feminist Evaluation in Practice

6. An Explication of Evaluator Values: Framing Matters, Kathryn Sielbeck-Mathes and Rebecca Selove

7. Fostering Democracy in Angola: A Feminist-Ecological Model for Evaluation, Tristi Nichols

8. Feminist Evaluation in South Asia: Building Bridges of Theory and Practice, Katherine Hay

9. Latin American Feminist Perspectives on Gender Power Issues in Evaluation, Silvia Salinas Mulder and Fabiola Amariles

Second Reflection

III. Feminist Research in Practice

10. Feminist Research and School-Based Health Care: A Three-Country Comparison, Denise Seigart

11. Feminist Research Approaches to Empowerment in Syria, Alessandra Galié

12. Feminist Research Approaches to Studying Sub-Saharan Traditional Midwives, Elaine Dietsch

Final Reflection. Feminist Social Inquiry: Relevance, Relationships, and Responsibility, Jennifer C. Greene

About the Editors

Sharon Brisolara, PhD, is a program evaluator and owner of Evaluation Solutions, an evaluation organization located in Northern California. Her interests include feminist evaluation, qualitative research, mixed-methods evaluations, participatory evaluation, and evaluation capacity building. Dr. Brisolara has trained nonprofit professionals and community residents in evaluation skills and teaches sociology at Shasta College and National University.

Denise Seigart, PhD, is an educational consultant specializing in administration and research in college and university settings. She has been a nurse, teacher, administrator, and advocate of feminist evaluation for many years. Dr. Seigart's research interests include feminist and participatory approaches to evaluation of health care services for women and children, for the purpose of fostering community learning.

Saumitra SenGupta, PhD, has worked in mental health services research in California and nationally for over 15 years. He has served in a number of capacities, including as a faculty member of the University of Arizona Medical School and a research psychologist for San Francisco County Mental Health Services. He is currently Director of Information Systems at the California Mental Health External Quality Review Organization in Sacramento. Dr. SenGupta is an expert in quantitative and qualitative research methods and utilizing mental health information systems for such research, and has served as an elected board member of the American Evaluation Association.


Fabiola Amariles, MS, Learning for Impact, Weston, Florida

Sharon Brisolara, PhD, Evaluation Solutions, Shasta, California

Elaine Dietsch, PhD, School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Indigenous Health, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia

Alessandra Galié, PhD, International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

Jennifer C. Greene, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Champaign, Illinois

Katherine Hay, PhD, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, New Delhi, India

Sandra Mathison, PhD, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Donna M. Mertens, PhD, Department of Education, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC

Tristi Nichols, PhD, Manitou Incorporated, Peekskill, New York

Donna Podems, PhD, Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Silvia Salinas Mulder, MA, Independent Consultant, La Paz, Bolivia

Denise Seigart, PhD, educational consultant, Baltimore, Maryland

Rebecca Selove, PhD, Center for Prevention Research, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee

Saumitra SenGupta, PhD, California Mental Health External Quality Review Organization, Sacramento, California

Kathryn Sielbeck-Mathes, PhD, Centerstone Research Institute, Nashville, Tennessee

Elizabeth Whitmore, PhD, School of Social Work, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Applied researchers and evaluators; graduate students and instructors in education, psychology, social work, nursing, public health, sociology, criminal justice, and gender and women's studies.

Course Use

Will serve as a primary or supplemental text in graduate-level courses in research methods, program evaluation, community-based research, and feminist research.