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Deliberative forums consist of facilitated, democratic conversations during evaluative inquiry. Deliberative forums reinforce principles of democratic pluralism by consciously positioning people with different opinions and authority in evaluative discourse. The methodology of the deliberative forum is an instrumental tool for bringing the theory of deliberative democratic evaluation into practice.

Deliberative forums are most useful when crafted into the unfolding dialogue during the design phase of an evaluation; they can be reformulated throughout the inquiry. Differences of perception among evaluation stakeholders are the focus of the deliberative forum. For example, when designing an evaluation for a social service program, the funders of the program might propose examining the frequency of service utilization. The providers of the services might want to examine program processes and operations. The clients ...

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