May 11th, 2016

Research on Evaluation from New Directions for Evaluation Series

DPM Partner, Celine Pinsent, is a co-author on a recently published article entitled Assessing the practice impact of research on evaluation.

In her collaborations with researchers at the University of Ottawa, Celine Pinsent worked with team members to co-author a recently published article in the American Evaluation Association’s series New Directions for Evaluation.   In the special volume on Research on Evaluation, the article focused on understanding the practice impact of research on evaluation. 


Calls for more and better research on evaluation (RoE) have been sounded for some 20 years now and the recent appearance of several significant reviews of empirical research suggests that interest in RoE is on the rise. Although many empirical studies on evaluation and syntheses of such studies result in implications for evaluation policy and practice, to date there has been little attention devoted to tracking the practice impact of RoE. The chapter draws on recent work on research and knowledge utilization to develop a conceptual approach to assessing the impact of RoE on evaluation policy and practice. Specifically, a theory of change for RoE is developed as part of a contribution analysis (CA) approach to the problem. Recommendations for moving forward are then considered.


Cousins, J. B., Svensson, K., Szijarto, B., Pinsent, C., Andrew, C., & Sylvestre, J. (2015). Assessing the practice impact of research on evaluation. In P. R. Brandon (Ed.), Research on Evaluation. New Directions for Evaluation (pp. 73-88). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.