Advocacy in Evaluation

Advocacy, defined in many of the debates as taking sides, is seen as one of the more intractable matters in contemporary evaluation. For example, Linda Mabrynotes, “Whether reports should be advocative and whether they can avoid advocacy is an issue which has exercised the evaluation community in recent years. The inescapability [from a constructionist stance] of an evaluator's personal values as a fundamental undergirding for reports has been noted but resisted by objectivist evaluators [who have] focused on bias management through design elements and critical analysis. At issue is whether evaluation should be proactive or merely instrumental.” M. F. Smith, considering the future of evaluation, writes, “The issue (of independence/objectivity versus involvement/advocacy) is what gives me the most worry about the ability of our field ...

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