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MNEA Week: Hanife Cakici on Evaluation of the Worlds

My name is Hanife Cakici and I am a second year graduate student in the Master of Public Policy program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, focusing on advanced policy analysis and program evaluation. Coming to U.S as a Turkish Fulbright student has generated a deep curiosity in me to investigate how to foster evaluation capacity building and organizational development in the developing world.

Carol Weiss’s four I’s “Ideology, Interests, Information, and Institution” nicely capture the intricate web of relations and domains through which the evaluation evolves. These four I’s pose even more challenge for evaluations conducted in culturally, ethnically, and linguistically distinct environments. In order to sustain political credibility in the midst of multiple threats to independence, the evaluator must have technical skills. But where to start?

Having lived in several countries over the last 5 years, I have confirmed that the books listed below will provide evaluators with sufficient information about the dynamics shaping both the developed and developing world. You may find the authors’ arguments controversial or provocative. Yet they will provide evaluators with enough material to contemplate when they need to evaluate a program that is a unique product of history, religion, culture, and geography.

Hot Tip- Hot ‘Book’ 1: The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington tackles the cultural differences, and potential for conflicts between groups of civilizations based on historical, political, social and religious characteristics. The book will provide evaluators with a systems approach, and also help acknowledge and appreciate the ‘similarities’ between cultures rather than the differences while they are designing evaluations for distinct populations around the world.

Hot Tip- Hot ‘Book’ 2: Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism by Esping-Anderson presents three types of welfare states: Liberal Model (e.g. U.S.A, Canada, and Australia), Conservative Model (e.g. Germany, France, and Italy), and Social Democratic Model (e.g. Scandinavian countries), addressing how welfare provisions of health, housing, employment, pension, education etc. vastly differ among countries –the kinds of programs/services evaluators face all the time.

Hot Tip- Hot ‘Book’ 3: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson nicely exemplifies how it takes one man to promote peace by building schools in the midst of political and social turmoil at a remote distance from home-sweat-home. The author will inspire evaluators to gain practical skills, and pursue their goals no matter what in order to make the world a better place for all.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Minnesota Evaluation Association (MN EA) Affiliate Week with our colleagues in the MNEA AEA Affiliate. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our MNEA members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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