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Developmental evaluation: lessons for evaluative practice from the SEARCH programme

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Article number2
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Evaluation: the International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice,
Issue number2
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)176-194
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article presents the results of a retrospective case study that critically examined the use of evaluation within a continuing professional development programme for healthcare professionals (SEARCH). The study explored the extent to which a developmental evaluation approach was taken within SEARCH. The results demonstrate that SEARCH was a complex, innovative and evolving programme functioning in a complex and changing healthcare system. Evaluation processes used within SEARCH were developmental in nature and informed substantive programme changes. The extent of the changes went beyond what would be expected following standard formative or summative evaluation and fit with the concepts and use of developmental evaluation as articulated by Patton. This study demonstrates that even though staff and faculty did not call their assessments developmental evaluation, this is in fact what they were doing and the results informed future SEARCH development and evaluation.