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Democratic Evaluation

The term democratic evaluation (DE) refers to theoretical frameworks that conceptualize the assessment of public programs or initiatives (in education, health care, etc.) in terms of its role in and contribution to democratic politics and culture. Although many, perhaps most, theories of program evaluation include democratic elements (e.g., emphasis on stakeholder participation and evaluator responsiveness, a commitment to the empowerment, and even “liberation” of disadvantaged individuals or communities), DE goes further, explicitly linking the narrower and more immediate goals specified for any particular evaluation to an overarching goal of creating a more just and democratic society. The main task of evaluators working within such a framework involves identifying (or developing) methods of engagement, analysis, and dissemination adequate to this aspiration.

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