Moving from Objective Outsider to “Critical Friend”

by OCCRL / Oct 22, 2014

The US Department of Labor is awarding Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grants to community colleges to implement innovative career pathway training programs. Rather than relying on traditional government-funded implementation study methods, both Hezel Associates, LLC and Social Policy Research Associates incorporated aspects of Michael Quinn Patton’s developmental evaluation (DE) approach to their evaluations of these grants.

This graphic shows the benefits of applying DE concepts—particularly related to shifting the evaluator’s role to that of a “critical friend” and using “reflective practice” in evaluation products—to government-funded projects.

What do you think about this idea? Does the idea of “critical friend” resonate with you? Do you have experience applying DE to government-funded projects like TAACCCT? We would love to hear from you.