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Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation, 4th Edition

Kathryn E. Newcomer, Harry P. Hatry, Joseph S. Wholey

ISBN: 978-1-118-89369-2 August 2015 Jossey-Bass 912 Pages



The leading program evaluation reference, updated with the latest tools and techniques

The Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation provides tools for managers and evaluators to address questions about the performance of public and nonprofit programs. Neatly integrating authoritative, high-level information with practicality and readability, this guide gives you the tools and processes you need to analyze your program's operations and outcomes more accurately. This new fourth edition has been thoroughly updated and revised, with new coverage of the latest evaluation methods, including:

  • Culturally responsive evaluation
  • Adopting designs and tools to evaluate multi-service community change programs
  • Using role playing to collect data
  • Using cognitive interviewing to pre-test surveys
  • Coding qualitative data

You'll discover robust analysis methods that produce a more accurate picture of program results, and learn how to trace causality back to the source to see how much of the outcome can be directly attributed to the program. Written by award-winning experts at the top of the field, this book also contains contributions from the leading evaluation authorities among academics and practitioners to provide the most comprehensive, up-to-date reference on the topic.

Valid and reliable data constitute the bedrock of accurate analysis, and since funding relies more heavily on program analysis than ever before, you cannot afford to rely on weak or outdated methods. This book gives you expert insight and leading edge tools that help you paint a more accurate picture of your program's processes and results, including:

  • Obtaining valid, reliable, and credible performance data
  • Engaging and working with stakeholders to design valuable evaluations and performance monitoring systems
  • Assessing program outcomes and tracing desired outcomes to program activities
  • Providing robust analyses of both quantitative and qualitative data

Governmental bodies, foundations, individual donors, and other funding bodies are increasingly demanding information on the use of program funds and program results. The Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation shows you how to collect and present valid and reliable data about programs.

Related Resources

Figures, Tables, and Exhibits ix

Preface xv

The Editors xxi

The Contributors xxv


1. Planning and Designing Useful Evaluations 7
Kathryn E. Newcomer, Harry P. Hatry, Joseph S. Wholey

2. Analyzing and Engaging Stakeholders 36
John M. Bryson, Michael Quinn Patton

3. Using Logic Models 62
John A. McLaughlin, Gretchen B. Jordan

4. Exploratory Evaluation 88
Joseph S. Wholey

5. Performance Measurement 108
Theodore H. Poister

6. Comparison Group Designs 137
Gary T. Henry

7. Randomized Controlled Trials 158
Carole J. Torgerson, David J. Torgerson, Celia A. Taylor

8. Conducting Case Studies 177
Karin Martinson, Carolyn O’Brien

9. Recruitment and Retention of Study Participants 197
Scott C. Cook, Shara Godiwalla, Keeshawna S. Brooks, Christopher V. Powers, Priya John

10. Designing, Managing, and Analyzing Multisite Evaluations 225
Debra J. Rog

11. Evaluating Community Change Programs 259
Brett Theodos, Joseph Firschein

12. Culturally Responsive Evaluation 281
Stafford Hood, Rodney K. Hopson, Karen E. Kirkhart


13. Using Agency Records 325
Harry P. Hatry

14. Using Surveys 344
Kathryn E. Newcomer, Timothy Triplett

15. Role Playing 383
Claudia L. Aranda, Diane K. Levy, Sierra Stoney

16. Using Ratings by Trained Observers 412
Barbara J. Cohn Berman, Verna Vasquez

17. Collecting Data in the Field 445
Demetra Smith Nightingale, Shelli Balter Rossman

18. Using the Internet 474
William C. Adams

19. Conducting Semi-Structured Interviews 492
William C. Adams

20. Focus Group Interviewing 506
Richard A. Krueger, Mary Anne Casey

21. Using Stories in Evaluation 535
Richard A. Krueger


22. Qualitative Data Analysis 561
Delwyn Goodrick, Patricia J. Rogers

23. Using Statistics in Evaluation 596
Kathryn E. Newcomer, Dylan Conger

24. Cost-Effectiveness and Cost-Benefit Analysis 636
Stephanie Riegg Cellini, James Edwin Kee

25. Meta-Analyses, Systematic Reviews, and Evaluation Syntheses 673
Robert Boruch, Anthony Petrosino, Claire Morgan


26. Pitfalls in Evaluations 701
Harry P. Hatry, Kathryn E. Newcomer

27. Providing Recommendations, Suggestions, and Options for Improvement 725
George F. Grob

28. Writing for Impact 739
George F. Grob

29. Contracting for Evaluation Products and Services 765
James B. Bell

30. Use of Evaluation in Government 798
Joseph S. Wholey

31. Evaluation Challenges, Issues, and Trends 816
Harry P. Hatry, Kathryn E. Newcomer, Joseph S. Wholey

Name Index 833

Subject Index 841