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Home > Arhiva > 2010 > Numar: 4 > Utilization-Focused Evaluation for Social Services and Social Work

 Utilization-Focused Evaluation for Social Services and Social Work

  • Michael Quinn Patton (Utilization-Focused Evaluation, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, 740 Mississippi River Blvd So Suite 15H, Saint Paul, MN 55116-1029, USA, E-mail:

Utilization-Focused Evaluation begins with the premise that evaluations should be judged by their utility and actual use; therefore, evaluators should facilitate the evaluation process and design any evaluation with careful consideration of how everything that is done, from beginning to end, will affect use. This article examines the implications of this premise for evaluation of social services and social work. Utilization-focused evaluation is concerned with how real people in the real world apply evaluation findings and experience the evaluation process. Therefore, the focus in utilization-focused evaluation is on intended use by intended users. The evaluator facilitates judgment and decision-making by intended users rather than acting solely as a distant, independent judge. In essence, utilization-focused evaluation is premised on the understanding that evaluation use is too important to be merely hoped for or assumed. Use must be planned for and facilitated, just as any good social work intervention must be planned and carefully implemented.

Keywords: evaluation, utilization, social work