Two sides of the evaluation coin

Unusually perhaps, this article is written jointly by the commissioner and the contractor of a recent evaluation. The process was rich, complex, at times difficult and a learning experience for all of us involved. Quite extraordinarily, we agreed to review the process of this evaluation between us and had already started sharing ideas on what could be learned from our experiences before finding this opportunity to contribute to BetterEvaluation.

Here we try to reflect honestly on our experience and learning about how we might have avoided difficulties and increased the value of the overall process and the final products. For the most part, our story is told as one narrative because we share a common understanding of the events and issues that arose. But we are not always in agreement. Where our perspectives diverge, the report makes space for two narratives to show the two sides of the same evaluation coin.

This article will be useful for anyone planning an evaluation or for contracting parties to suggest where misunderstanding can frequently arise and how to head it off in advance.

This example comes from the virtual writeshop process led by Irene Guijt for BetterEvaluation.


Cranston, P., & Beynon, P., & Rowley, J. (2013) Two Sides of the Evaluation Coin: An honest narrative co-constructed by the commissioner and the contractor concerning one evaluation experience. BetterEvaluation

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