Book Review: Conversations About Evaluation by Miri Levin-Rozalis

Title: Conversations About Evaluation

Author: Miri Levin-Rozalis

Genre: Non-Fiction, Counseling & Psychology

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Hey Mom, what’s this evaluation that you are busy with all the time?

Through the ingenious use of dialogue, this book discusses key issues of evaluation, such as: the origins of evaluation knowledge, the historical and social role of evaluation, concerns about ethics and social justice; dealing with the complexity of the real world; the challenge of giving voice to a broad spectrum of cultures and narratives; and the duties, rights, and responsibilities of an evaluator.

You mean to tell me it’s a real profession!?!

The book analyzes important considerations for conceptualizing and carrying out evaluation in varied programs and projects, providing thought-provoking answers regardless of one’s own approach to evaluation. Providing a coherent professional worldview, it gives the reader an in-depth understanding of program evaluation as a vital, research-based, independent profession.

Both theoretical and practical, this text is an important resource for practitioners, students enrolled in program evaluation courses, and their teachers.

 

“Evaluation” is just about the most dreaded word in my vocabulary. Even just hearing it, gives me the shivers. Yet, in Conversations About Evaluation, the author managed to make me hate the word a little less…a little.

Evaluation does serve a purpose, and it’s not just to taunt or bully people – its purpose is to gain insight into existing practices, reflect upon them, and help shape a better future. If something worked in the past but it did not always work as was intended, then evaluation can help uncover what went wrong and how this can be improved.

The book focuses on mother-daughter dialogues for evaluation, and makes the subject more interesting, even understandable – and lo and behold, by the end of the book, I didn’t cringe when I heard the word ‘evaluation’ anymore (okay, so I admit,  I still cringed a little, but not that much).

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