Developmentally Appropriate Evaluations

In evaluation, one thing is clear: context matters. Many evaluators have described how the context of the program (e.g., age of program, type of program, feasibility) and the context of the evaluation (e.g., resources, stakeholder involvement, measurement tools) affect evaluation designs, methods, practices, and measures. However, evaluators have only begun to examine how the developmental context also affect how evaluators design and conduct evaluations. Specifically, how should the age of participants affect evaluations? 

This is particularly important to investigate because the American Evaluation Association (AEA)’s Guiding Principles for Evaluators, under the Respect for People principle, state that:

In a series of blog posts, I will take you through the existing research on this topic and my thesis project that further examined this area:

  1. What is the developmental context? And why is it important to evaluation?
  2. Developmental appropriateness as cultural competence in evaluation
  3. How evaluators adapt their evaluations to the developmental context:
  4. Why aren’t evaluators adapting their evaluations to the developmental context?


Furthermore, the entire thesis can be found and read on the Open Science Framework here:

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