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Reframing Evaluation Through Appreciative Inquiry

by Hallie Preskill and Tessie Catsambas SAGE Publications, Inc
Pub Date:
Pbk 192 pages
AU$152.00 NZ$156.52
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& Academics:
In today's world, evaluators must be flexible and responsive in order to best deal with the ever shifting environmental conditions that they face on the job. While the deficit-based approaches which have shaped evaluation practice over the years are important to master, a newer technique called Appreciative Inquiry offers evaluators an additional, viable lense through which to view their work. Appreciative Inquiry is the search for what aspects of an organization are effective and hold the key to innovation and growth.

In this text, Hallie Preskill and Tessie Tzavaras Catsambas-who have integrated Appreciative Inquiry into their own practices-introduce readers to the theory and practice of Appreciative Inquiry and how it relates to evaluation. Drawing on case examples, the text explains the way that this particular approach has been used to frame, design, and conduct evaluations in various sectors worldwide, and then goes on to teach audiences how to apply Appreciate Inquiry approaches to various aspects of their own evaluations. Moreover, the work instructs users on how to build evaluation capacity using Appreciative Inquiry.

Reframing Evaluation Through Appreciative Inquiry is the perfect guide to this asset-based approach for consultants in non-profit, private, and government sectors, evaluators, and instructors alike. The text is particularly well suited for evaluation workshops and graduate courses which require students to practice evaluation. It is also an ideal supplement to the more general evaluation texts that are typically used in introductory program evaluation courses.

Features and Benefits:

Written in a clear and accessible style that appeals to those new to Appreciate Inquiry and Evaluation, as well as those who are familiar with one or both disciplines
Comprised of numerous U.S.-based and international case examples that demonstrate the use of Appreciative Inquiry in evaluations
Includes a matrix of cases to help users easily locate particular types of case studies and identify the contexts in which those studies took place
Contains a comprehensive bibliography that includes web resources

''This important volume represents a paradigm shift in the evaluation field – presenting an approach that shifts evaluation from being something that we ‘should’ do to something that stakeholders can ‘look forward’ to doing, even something they might actually love doing… turning what can often be drudgery that ends up with reports that sit on shelves to dynamic processes that are downright fun, while at the same time profound, resulting in accelerating positive change in organizations, programs, and those who are part of them. The book challenges the basic tenets underlying evaluation, pushes the boundaries of the discipline. The field may never be the same.''

—Malcolm J. Odell, Jr., Appreciative Inquiry Consulting, LLC

''I am delighted that the authors have taken AI and found new uses for this approach. They provide concrete examples of the many ways evaluators have successfully used the AI approach in a wide variety of program and geographic settings. Combining theory and practice, this book is an important contribution to the evaluation field.''

—Gail Johnson, The Evergreen State College

Table of Case Examples
Prologue: Choosing an Evaluation Path
1. Introducing Appreciative Inquiry
2. Using Appreciative Inquiry in Evaluation Practice
3. Focusing the Evaluation Using Appreciative Inquiry
4. Designing and Conducting Interviews and Surveys Using Appreciative Inquiry
5. Using Appreciative Inquiry to Develop Evaluation Systems
6. Building Evaluation Capacity Through Appreciative Inquiry
Epilogue: Crossing Boundaries and Evaluation Innovation
Appendix: Using Appreciative Inquiry at Evergreen Cove by Laverne Webb and Sherry Rockey
About the Authors

'I enjoyed the book. I found the approach refreshing and useful. The structure of the book made the argument easy to follow...Practitioners of evaluation, or any organizational change process, will find the approach useful. Anona Armstrong
Hallie Preskill, Ph.D., is a Professor of Organizational Learning and Instructional Technologies at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She teaches graduate level courses in program evaluation (introductory and advanced), organizational learning, consulting, and organization and training design, development, and delivery. She coauthored Evaluative Inquiry for Learning in Organizations (Preskill Torres, 1999), Evaluation in Organizations: A Systematic Approach to Enhancing Learning, Performance Change (Russ-Eft Preskill, 2001), Evaluation Strategies for Communication and Reporting: Enhancing Learning in Organizations (Torres, Preskill Piontek, 2004), and Building Evaluation Capacity: 72 Activities for Teaching and Training (Preskill Russ-Eft, 2004). Preskill also coedited Using Appreciative Inquiry in Evaluation (Preskill Coghlan, New Directions for Evaluation #100, 2003) and the Human Resource Development Review (Russ-Eft, Preskill Sleezer, 1997). She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Evaluation Association and the Academy of Human Resource Development and is the section editor of the Teaching Evaluation column in the American Journal of Evaluation . She received the American Evaluation Association Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Award for Outstanding Professional Practice in 2002 and the University of Illinois Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004. For over 20 years, she has provided workshops and consulting services in the areas of program evaluation, training, and organization development. She has also written numerous articles and book chapters on evaluation methods and processes, and has conducted program evaluations in schools and health care, nonprofit, human service, and corporate organizations. . Tessie Tzavaras Catsambas, M.P.P., is President of EnCompass LLC and brings 20 years of experience in evaluation, knowledge management, e-learning, and training. Ms. Catsambas is an innovator and practitioner in appreciative evaluation methods. Starting in 1998, she experimented with the use of appreciative inquiry in an evaluation of healthcare quality assurance activities in Chile. This became the first published work in appreciative evaluation in the Journal for International Health Care Quality, Volume 14, Supplement I, December 2002. She has continued to refine appreciative evaluation methods through her work with many clients in diverse settings including the World Bank, the United Nations, the Pubic Broadcasting Service, CARE International, the International Women Media Foundation, and others. Ms. Catsambas brings her rich field experience to her training and has conducted annual training sessions at the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference since 2002. She has coauthored two chapters on appreciative evaluation methods (Preskill Coghlan, New Directions for Evaluation #100, 2003). Her other clients include the U.S. Department of Labor, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, the U.S.Agency for International Development, Peace Corps, and the United Nations Foundation. She holds a Masters of Public Policy from Harvard University.