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Theory-driven evaluation (or program theory—driven evaluation) is a contextual or holistic assessment of a program based on the conceptual framework of program theory. The purpose of theory-driven evaluation is to provide information on not only the performance or merit of a program but on how and why the program achieves such a result. Program theory is a set of implicit or explicit assumptions of how the program should be organized and why the program is expected to work. The nature of program theory and its conceptual framework are discussed on pages 340 to 342 in the encyclopedia. When looking into the crucial assumptions underlying a program, evaluators should consider that theory-driven evaluation provides insightful information that assists stakeholders in understanding those components of their program ...

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