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Taken to signify a political stance for an evaluation that is not subject to the control of or that does not provide privileged access to any particular stakeholder group or constituency. Independence has been implied and advocated in a number of ways. For example, Scriven's goal-free evaluation seeks to uncouple evaluation from program prescriptions; Weiss' stakeholder evaluation seeks to honor the significance of all stakeholder agendas, not just those of the powerful; Stake's responsive evaluation was designed to broaden the data reach of evaluation beyond the limited concerns of the administrative system.

It is in MacDonald's democratic evaluation, however, that independence is explicitly discussed—in fact, well expressed in the maxim attributed to MacDonald: “An evaluation can be sponsored but not bought.” Independence is designed to strengthen ...

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