Engaging With Program Adaptations in Evaluation: A Range of Existing Options and a New Opportunity

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Abstract

Premised on the idea that evaluators should be familiar with a range of approaches to program modifications, I review several existing approaches and then describe another, less well-recognized option. In this newer option, evaluators work with others to identify potentially needed adaptations for select program aspects in advance. In describing this approach, I note the general steps involved and present alternative techniques for identifying, a priori, adaptations that may come to be needed. In the final section, I discuss implications of the a priori adaptation planning approach for the fidelity–adaptation trade-off, past criticism of logic models as overly fixed and linear, potential research and evaluation questions, the development of more detailed views of programs in evaluation theory and training, and possible resistance to adaptation planning. Discussion also considers the potential future of program adaptations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management

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