Developmental evaluation

Is used when goals and outcomes are not pre-set but rather evolve as learning occurs. It supports continuous progress and rapid response to complex situations with multiple variables.  The evaluator is often an integral member of the program design team. It is best suited for initiatives that are at an initial stage of development or undergoing significant change, and can benefit from careful tracking of the process. Organizations and programs focused on innovation and social change are especially appropriate for developmental evaluation. (From “J. W. McConnell Family Foundation: What We Are Learning,” the section on Patton’s Developmental Evaluation, Sustaining Social Innovation)