Evaluation as a democratic process: promoting inclusion, dialogue, and deliberation

This issue of New Directions for Evaluation focuses on democratic evaluation with a particular emphasis on inclusive practices which emphasise participation and collaboration. The variety of articles use case studies to highlight successes and failures in attempts to democratise evaluation.


Inclusive approaches to evaluation emphasizing participation and collaboration can enhance the efficiency of data collection, improve learning, and strengthen commitment to act on results and also reflect the highest aspirations and ideals of a democratic society. The contributors to this volume use case studies to discover the lessons learned so far from successful and unsuccessful attempts to democratize evaluation. They offer ten questions to guide evaluation planning from a deliberative, democratic viewpoint, and look at a failed attempt at inclusive evaluation to analyze how deliberative intentions can be distorted. Focusing on participation, they discuss how best to use different types of dialogue to make evaluation more participatory, examine an evaluation program in a psychiatric institution to explore the challenge of employing participatory, democratic approaches in an anti-democratic environment, and more. (Ryan & DeStefano, eds., 2000)


  • Deliberative Democratic Evaluation (E. House & K. Howe).
  • Challenges in Practicing Deliberative Democratic Evaluation (J. Greene).
  • Dialogue and Reflection in a Collaborative Evaluation: Stakeholder and Evaluator Voices (R. Torres, et al.).
  • Democratizing Evaluation: Meanings and Methods from Practice (K. Ryan & T. Johnson).
  • Surfacing the Realpolitik: Democratic Evaluation in an Antidemocratic Climate (C. MacNeil).
  • Distangling Dialogue: Issues from Practices (K. Ryan & L. DeStefano).
  • Commentary on Deliberative Democratic Evaluation (S. Hood).
  • Deliberation, Evaluation, and Democracy (S. Mathison).
  • Benefits and Limitations of Deliberation (G. Henry).
  • A Modest Commitment to the Promotion of Democracy (R. Stake).

This journal is available for purchase from John Wiley and Sons


Ryan, K. E., & DeStefano, L. (2000). Evaluation as a democratic process: Promoting inclusion, dialogue, and deliberation. (85 ed.). John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved from http://au.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0787953717.html

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