One of the more interesting perspectives for evaluation is 'narrative'. Narratives are the common vehicles people use to understand and to communicate the value of their actions and social practices. Given the valuational and action-oriented character of narrative it seems strange that evaluators have not yet discovered its value. In this volume we, an international and multidisciplinary group of practising evaluators and policy analysts in various policy fields such as mental health, education, social welfare and water management, explore what a narrative perspective can mean for the practice of program evaluation. We do so by showing and telling.
List of contributors. Introduction: narrative perspectives on program evaluation (T. Abma). Public policies as identity stories: American race-ethnic discourse (D. Yanow). Morality, uncertainty, and controversy: a meta-narrative about flooding and dike improvement (M. van Eeten). Two approaches of narrative policy evaluation compared: evaluating a Danish neighborhood council twice (S. Kensen, P. Bogason). Interpretation, action, and communication: four stories about a supported employment program (G. Widdershoven, C. Sohl). Emotions, values, and rhetorical performance: a detailed description of a conflict within a human resource management team (J. Gold, J. Hamblett). Myth, meaning, multiplicity, and metaphor: a figurative representation of a transformative learning program (A. Kaminsky). Lost virginity and floating space: three stories about site-based management, life history, and discourse (L. Andersen). Crafting counter-narratives in collaboration: an impressionist tale about a school and community in crisis (K. Malone, R. Walker). Novelistic narrative: life stories in the formative evaluation of a school arts program (T. Barone). Narrative stance, voice, and tropes: a pastiche on evaluators as narrators (T. Abma). Annotated bibliography (T. Abma).