You are seeing this message because your web browser does not support basic web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing and what you can do to make your experience on this site better.

The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

Terms of Use ▼

From the Director's Desk

An introduction to the issue on Democratic Evaluation by HFRP's Founder & Director, Heather B. Weiss, Ed.D.

Theory & Practice

Democratic Evaluation Approaches for Equity and Inclusion

Katherine Ryan, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois, describes three approaches to democratic evaluation and argues that they can provide field-tested methods for addressing equity and inclusion issues in evaluations of programs for children, youth, and families.

Promising Practices

Evaluating Evaluation Data

Kathleen McCartney and Heather Weiss of the Harvard Graduate School of Education describe the conditions for evaluations to maintain scientific integrity and serve the public good despite a politicized environment.

Promising Practices

Program Evaluation in a Democratic Society: The Vera Model

Tim Ross, Research Director at the Vera Institute of Justice, explains Vera's rigorous and multitiered data collection process and the benefits of partnerships with public programs.

Promising Practices

Getting Creative in Holding Officials Accountable

Dennis Arroyo describes the performance-monitoring mechanisms that nongovernment agencies use to make public officials accountable to citizens.

Promising Practices

The Many Forms of Democratic Evaluation

Ernest House, Emeritus Professor at the University of Colorado, argues that democratic evaluation calls for more ingenuity than other forms of evaluation and that as a result its methods can take many forms.

Promising Practices

Combining Research Rigor and Participatory Evaluation

Anju Malhotra and Sanyukta Mathur from the International Center for Research on Women describe a study in Nepal that compared participatory and more traditional approaches to evaluating adolescent reproductive health interventions.

Beyond Basic Training

Twists and Turns in the Journey: Youth Activists' Use of Research in Their Campaigns for Small Schools

Kristine Lewis shares Research for Action's experience with training youth to use social science research methods in their campaigns to im-prove their local high schools.

Questions & Answers

A Conversation With Jennifer Greene

Jennifer Greene of the University of Ilinois talks about her efforts to advance the theory and practice of alternative forms of evaluation, including qualitative, participatory, and mixed-method evaluation.


Democratic Evaluation in Practice

Cheryl MacNeil, an evaluation consultant, describes the asymmetries of power in evaluation and her efforts to make her evaluation practice more democratic.


Social Capital in the Connected Society

Andrew Nachison, director of the Media Center, an organization that studies the intersection of media, technology, and society, writes about social capital and democratic processes in a digital society.

Evaluations to Watch

Using Democratic Evaluation Principles to Foster Citizen Engagement and Strengthen Neighborhoods

Arnold Love and Betty Muggah describe how Hamilton Community Foundation applied democratic evaluation principles to transform challenged neighborhoods into vibrant communities.

Evaluations to Watch

Untangling Logic Models and Indicators: Reflections on Engaging Stakeholders

Seema Shah, a researcher at the Institute for Education and Social Policy, shares her experience of engaging community organizing groups to develop a logic model on how community organizing leads to better student outcomes.

Evaluations to Watch

The Trenton Central High School Obesity Prevention Project: Encouraging Democracy Through Inclusion

Katrina Bledsoe of the College of New Jersey writes about the inclusion of student voices in the evaluation of an obesity prevention program

Ask the Expert

How does evaluation create options to enhancing social justice?

Saville Kushner of the Centre for Research in Education and Democracy at the University of the West of England suggests ways that an evaluation's participants can make evaluations more democratic.

Ask the Expert

How can evaluation address racial equality?

Sally Leiderman, President of the Center for Assessment and Policy Development, explains how evaluation can be a tool to help communities and their partners do work in racial equity.

New & Noteworthy

The New & Noteworthy section features an annotated list of papers, organizations, initiatives, and other resources related to the issue's theme of Democratic Evaluation.

New & Noteworthy: Expanded Web Only Version

This web only version of the New & Noteworthy section features an expanded annotated list of papers, organizations, initiatives, and other resources related to the issue's theme of Democratic Evaluation.

This issue of The Evaluation Exchange was published by Harvard Family Research Project. The managing editor for the issue is M. Elena Lopez , Ph.D., senior consultant; the contributing editors are Elizabeth Blair, graduate student at HGSE, and Margaret Post, consultant; and the assistant editor is Margaret Caspe, consultant. It was produced by Stacey Miller, publications/communications manager, and Carrie-Anne DeDeo, publications editor. All rights reserved. This periodical may not be reproduced whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. To request reprint permission, email

Harvard Family Research Project gratefully acknowledges the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the C. S. Mott Foundation. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of Harvard Family Research Project and do not necessarily reflect the view of our funders.

Free. 20 Pages.

© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project