Developmental evaluation

The Developmental Evaluation method, pioneered by Michael Quinn Patton, emerged from the need for real-time learning and course correction in settings where the environment to the problem is complex and requires innovative and adaptive solutions (Dozois, Langlois & Blanchet-Cohen, 2010). It differs from traditional forms of evaluation by focusing primarily on adaptive learning, providing real-time feedback and generating learnings for course correction. Besides being dynamic and responsive to the context, the method is also strongly participative, by including stakeholders to the evaluation process.Interestingly, the Developmental Evaluation does not prescribe a specific methodology. Instead, the approach is determined by need and context. However, as a general guideline, the evaluation usually starts with the exploration of the broader context in which the project or organization operates. Understanding the complexity of this context will inform many of the evaluation questions and orient the research team to key aspects of the project or initiative.