Evaluation in the Face of Uncertainty: Anticipating Surprise and Responding to the Inevitable

This book from Jonathan A. Morell provides insight into the many unexpected events which may arise during an evaluation and proposes a framework in order to deal with them.


Unexpected events during an evaluation all too often send evaluators into crisis mode. This insightful book provides a systematic framework for diagnosing, anticipating, accommodating, and reining in costs of evaluation surprises. The result is evaluation that is better from a methodological point of view, and more responsive to stakeholders. Jonathan A. Morell identifies the types of surprises that arise at different stages of a program's life cycle and that may affect different aspects of the evaluation, from stakeholder relationships to data quality, methodology, funding, deadlines, information use, and program outcomes. His analysis draws on 18 concise cases from well-known researchers in a variety of evaluation settings. Morell offers guidelines for responding effectively to surprises and for determining the risks and benefits of potential solutions.

The book can be purchased from the publisher, Guilford Press


Morell, J. A. (2010). Evaluation in the face of uncertainty anticipating surprise and responding to the inevitable. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Retrieved from http://www.guilford.com/cgi-bin/cartscript.cgi?page=pr/morell.htm&dir=re...