Essentials of Utilization-Focused evaluation: A Primer

Drawing on Michael Quinn Patton's best-selling Utilization-Focused Evaluation, this book provides an overall framework and essential checklist steps for designing and conducting evaluations that actually get used. It contains substantially new material, presenting the utilization-focused evaluation as a complex adaptive process, drawing on current ideas about systems thinking and complexity science, together with new case examples and cartoons. 


  • Step 1. Assess and Build Program and Organizational Readiness for Utilization-Focused Evaluation:
  • Step 2. Assess and Enhance Evaluator Readiness and Competence to Undertake a Utilization-Focused Evaluation
  • Step 3. Identify, Organize, and Engage Primary Intended Users: The Personal Factor
  • Step 4. Situation Analysis Conducted Jointly With Primary Intended Users
  • Step 5. Identify and Prioritize Primary Intended Uses by Determining Priority Purposes
  • Step 6. Consider and Build in Process Uses if and as Appropriate
  • Step 7. Focus Priority Evaluation Questions
  • Step 8. Check That Fundamental Areas for Evaluation Inquiry Are Being Adequately Addressed: Implementation, Outcomes, and Attribution Questions
  • Step 9. Determine What Intervention Model or Theory of Change Is Being Evaluated
  • Step 9. Determine What Intervention Model or Theory of Change Is Being Evaluated
  • Step 10. Negotiate Appropriate Methods to Generate Credible Findings That Support Intended Use by Intended Users
  • Step 11. Make Sure Intended Users Understand Potential Methods Controversies and Their Implications
  • Step 12. Simulate Use of Findings: Evaluation's Equivalent of a Dress Rehearsal
  • Step 13. Gather Data With Ongoing Attention to Use
  • Step 14. Organize and Present the Data for Interpretation and Use by Primary Intended Users: Analysis, Interpretation, Judgment, and Recommendations
  • Step 15. Prepare an Evaluation Report to Facilitate Use and Disseminate Significant Findings to Expand Influence
  • Step 16. Follow Up With Primary Intended Users to Facilitate and Enhance Use
  • Step 17. Meta-evaluation of Use: Be Accountable, Learn, and Improve


Patton, Michael Quinn (2012). Essentials of utilization-focused evaluation: a primer. Thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage Publications. Retrieved from

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