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Background: Utilization-focused evaluation provides an overall decision-making framework with the intention of ensuring evaluation products and processes are actually used. Developmental evaluation provides a structure to learn from an experiment or pilot in the making and provide feedback to course-correct and improve the ongoing effort. In this paper we report on a project where we combined both into a utilization-focused developmental evaluation (UFDE).
Purpose: To determine the theoretical complementarities and the practical advantages of combining UFE with DE, by reflecting on a practical experience. We include a synopsis of the methodology along with a sample of findings, followed by a reflection of the overall process. We emphasize the conditions that enabled this experience to evolve to guide other practitioners interested in this learning approach to evaluation.
Setting: The context was the piloting of a social and financial education curriculum for youth called Aflateen that was developed by Aflatoun Child Savings International in Amsterdam and test-driven by over forty partners around the World.
Intervention: The evaluation experience took place during a ten-month period between December 2012 and October 2013. This paper provides a summary of the context and a justification for the approach.
Research Design: Not applicable.
Data Collection and Analysis: In additional to conventional data collection instruments, we applied participatory inquiry tools from Social Analysis Systems (www.sas2.net) as a means of engaging stakeholders in real-time data collection and analysis.
Findings: Examples are provided to demonstrate how some developmental evaluation findings informed organizational strategic and operational decisions during the life of the evaluation.
Copyright 2016 Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, Western Michigan University.