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Mixed Methods Design in Evaluation

Mixed Methods Design in Evaluation

August 2017 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

In this groundbreaking first volume of SAGE's Evaluation in Practice Series, best-selling author Donna M. Mertens explores the meaning of mixed methods evaluation, its evolution over the last few decades, and the dominant philosophical frameworks that are influencing thought and practice in the field today. Four chapters explore evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions, development of instruments, systematic reviews, and policy evaluations, while an additional chapter covers evaluation approaches often required in specific contexts including gender responsive evaluations, needs assessment, and evaluations in conflict zones. Practical in nature, the book guides readers’ thinking about the design of mixed methods evaluations through the use of illustrative examples and explanations for further applications.

SAGE’s Evaluation in Practice Series offers concise, practical books for students and professionals working as evaluators.

Volume Editors’ Introduction
About the Author
Chapter 1. Mixed Methods in Evaluation: History and Progress
History of Evaluation and Mixed Methods

Scope of This Book

Differentiating Mixed Methods Research and Mixed Methods Evaluation

Increased Interest in and Demand for Mixed Methods Evaluations

Complexity in Evaluation Contexts and the Role of Mixed Methods

Conceptual Framework: Paradigms and Branches of Evaluation

Philosophical Frames for Mixed Methods Evaluation

Connecting Paradigms With the Field of Evaluation

Overview of Mixed Methods Approaches and Purposes

Criteria to Judge Quality in Mixed Methods Evaluation Design

Summary and Moving Forward: Overview of This Book

Chapter 2. Mixed Methods Designs to Evaluate Interventions
Evaluating Interventions

Methods Branch: Mixed Methods and Experimental Designs to Test Intervention Effectiveness

Values Branch: Qualitatively Dominant RCT Mixed Methods Design

Use Branch: Randomized Controlled Trial With Qualitative Methods

Social Justice Branch: Mixed Methods With RCT and Qualitative Designs

Dialectical Pluralism: Mixed Methods for Intervention Evaluations

Summary and Moving Forward

Chapter 3. Mixed Methods Evaluation Designs for Instrument Development
Instrument Development

Methods Branch: Mixed Methods and Instrument Development

Values Branch: Instrument Development With Qualitative Approach Dominant

Use Branch: Multiphase Instrument Development

Social Justice Branch: Instrument Development

Dialectical Pluralism: Instrument Development

Summary and Moving Forward

Chapter 4. Mixed Methods Evaluation Designs for Policy Evaluation
Policy Evaluation and Mixed Methods

Methods Branch: Mixed Methods Policy Evaluation

Methods Branch: Mixed Methods Survey/Interview Embedded Policy Analysis

Values Branch: Mixed Methods Policy Evaluation

Use Branch: Mixed Methods Policy Evaluation

Social Justice Branch: Mixed Methods Policy Evaluation

Dialectical Pluralism: Mixed Methods Policy Evaluation

Summary and Moving Forward

Chapter 5. Mixed Methods Evaluation Designs for Systematic Reviews
Mixed Methods and Systematic Literature Review

Methods Branch: Mixed Methods Systematic Reviews

Values Branch: Qualitatively Dominant Systematic Reviews

Use Branch: Mixed Methods Systematic Reviews

Social Justice Branch: Mixed Methods Systematic Reviews

Dialectical Pluralism: Mixed Methods Systematic Reviews

Summary and Moving Forward

Chapter 6. Variations in Mixed Methods Evaluation Designs
Mixed Methods Designs and Gender-Responsive Evaluation

Mixed Methods Designs and Indigenous Evaluation

Universal Design: Mixed Methods Designs With Persons With Disabilities and Deaf Persons

Mixed Methods Designs and Developmental Evaluation

Mixed Methods Designs and Needs Assessment

Mixed Methods Designs and Visual Spatial Data

Mixed Methods Designs and Arts-Based Evaluations

Mixed Methods Designs in Conflict Zones and Violently Divided Societies

Summary and Moving Forward

Chapter 7. Trends, Challenges, and Advances in Mixed Methods Evaluation
Trends and Challenges for the Future of Mixed Methods

Philosophy and Methodology

Innovative Designs

Technological Advances and Big Data

Preparation of Mixed Methods Evaluators

Responsiveness to Complex Social Problems

Integration and Dissemination in Mixed Methods Evaluation

Conclusions and Moving Forward

Appendix. Key Resources for Additional Examples and Insights Into Mixed Methods Design in Evaluation

“This text provides students of evaluation an inspiring and thorough understanding of the variety of ways evaluation is made more complete and valuable through the use of mixed methods designs.”

Kathleen Norris
Plymouth State University

“A great resource for conceptualizing, designing, and implementing mixed method evaluations for complex interventions or issues.”

Sebastian Galindo
University of Florida

“This text contains a wealth of information regarding mixed methods evaluation designs. It will be a go-to text for years to come!”

Jori N. Hall
University of Georgia
Key features


  • Sample studies demonstrate the influence of philosophical assumptions on methodological choices and the practical application of those assumptions in a real study.
  • Specific steps for each design help evaluators in their own design work.
  • Summaries at the beginning of each chapter list the forthcoming topics to help readers anticipate content and focus their reading.
  • Application exercises give readers an opportunity to apply the design principles presented.

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