Authority of Evaluation

Authority in evaluation is contingent on myriad reciprocal and overlapping considerations, some obvious and some subtle, as well as on starkly different perspectives as to what constitutes evaluation as a professional practice.

Within the Professional Community

Broad distinctions between stakeholder-oriented and expert-oriented evaluation approaches have implications for authority. Expert-oriented evaluation approaches invest authority in a professional evaluator (e.g., Stufflebeam's context-input-process-product, or CIPP, model), a connoisseur (i.e., Eisner's connoisseurship approach), or a group of professionals or technical experts (e.g., evaluation or accreditation teams, advisory and blue-ribbon panels). In contrast, stakeholder-oriented approaches may confer authority on program personnel, participants, and relevant others or may involve shared authority. Less explicitly, a stakeholder-oriented evaluator may retain authority as well as closely attend to stakeholder aims, priorities, and criteria.

An important consideration in ...

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