How can evaluation be used most effectively, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of the various methods? Colin Robson provides guidance in a clear and uncluttered way. The issue of collaboration is examined step-by-step; stakeholder models are compared with techniques such as participatory evaluation and practitioner-centred action research; ethical and political considerations are placed in context; and the best ways of communicating findings are discussed. Each chapter is illustrated with helpful exercises to show the practical application of the issues covered, making this an invaluable introduction for anyone new to evaluation.
Colin Robson, emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Huddersfield, has extensive experience of conducting, supervising and publishing research. Since 1996 he has been chief consultant to the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation project on the development of statistics and indicators on the performance of national systems for the education of children with disabilities, learning and behavior difficulties, and social disadvantages. These have recently included presentations at major international meetings in Paris; at the Finnish Ministry of Education, Helsinki; the Korean Institute for Special Education, Seoul; the Hungarian Ministry of Education, Budapest; and the American Institutes for Research, Washington DC. He has also recently taken part in seminars in Athens, Bratislava and Zurich. In addition to the work of the project detailed in current publications, linked projects are currently under way in the Balkans, the new EU accession countries and other Eastern European countries as well as Chile, Mexico and other Central and South American countries. Colin is author of Real World Research, currently in its second edition with a third contracted for publication in 2011, a text that is widely used by UK and overseas researchers and by practitioners wishing to use social research methods in a range of fields including health-related, and social work and social policy areas. Since his formal retirement from the University of Huddersfield, Colin has retained an active involvement with the university through PhD student supervision and our staff/student seminar program.