Criteria and Theory in the Evaluation of Organizations

Published on 1 July 2010

This article argues that evaluation-specific logic, which involves the identification of relevant criteria and performance standards for the evaluand (considered as a whole or in its single dimensions), can benefit from research on the causal chains leading from programme inputs to the final outcomes; and on the contexts and mechanisms responsible, which are normally investigated when adopting a theory-based or realistic evaluation approach.

The arguments presented are both theoretical — how explanations can be used to redefine the evaluand in order to improve criteria selection — and applied. The latter are taken from the evaluation of two organizations: Italian universities and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Publication details

Befani, B.
Evaluation, volume 16, issue 3