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Confidentiality is part of the ethics repertoire of the evaluator—a procedural device in which the privacy of respondents is assured pending negotiations over the use of their data. Confidentiality procedures emerged with case study evaluation in the 1970s and from the principle that people “own” the data concerning their own lives—that attributable data is only available to the evaluator on a negotiated basis. In democratic evaluation, for example, the evaluator balances the individual's right to privacy with the public's right to know. Treating data as confidential and negotiable is the trade-off for final release. Confidential does not mean off the record, beyond the reach of the evaluation. Rather, it is assumed that the data is available to be used but only once it has been ...

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