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Situational factors that affect evaluation design and use include program variables (e.g., size, complexity, history), evaluation purposes (formative, summative), evaluator experience and credibility, intended users, politics, and resource constraints. An evaluator demonstrates situational responsiveness when strategizing how various factors affect evaluation design and use. The implication is that no one best evaluation design exists; that is, no standardized cookie-cutter approach can be applied regardless of circumstances and context. The standards and principles of evaluation provide direction, but every evaluation is unique. Situational responsiveness involves negotiating and designing the evaluation to fit the specific, intended uses of the evaluation by particular intended users.

Michael Quinn Patton
Further Reading
Patton, M. Q.(1997)Utilization-focused evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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