NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1130415
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1098-2140
Implications of the Changing Conversation about Causality for Evaluators
Gates, Emily; Dyson, Lisa
American Journal of Evaluation, v38 n1 p29-46 Mar 2017
Making causal claims is central to evaluation practice because we want to know the effects of a program, project, or policy. In the past decade, the conversation about establishing causal claims has become prominent (and problematic). In response to this changing conversation about causality, we argue that evaluators need to take up some new ways of thinking about and examining causal claims in their practices, including (1) being responsive to the situation and intervention, (2) building relevant and defensible causal arguments, (3) being literate in multiple ways of thinking about causality, (4) being familiar with a range of causal designs and methods, (5) layering theories to explain causality at multiple levels; and (6) justifying the causal approach taken to multiple audiences. Drawing on recent literature, we discuss why and how evaluators can take up each of these ideas in practice. We conclude with considerations for evaluator training and future research.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A