Reconstructing Program Theories: Methods Available and Problems to be Solved

Leeuw, F. D., 2003, In : American Journal of Evaluation. 24, 1, p. 5 1 p.

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  • Frans de Leeuw
This paper discusses methods for reconstructing theories underlying programs and policies. It describes three approaches. One is empirical–analytical in nature and focuses on interviews, documents and argumentational analysis. The second has strategic assessment, group dynamics, and dialogue as its core. The third has cognitive and organizational psychology as its foundation. For each of the three approaches, case-illustrations are given. These approaches can help to make the process of reconstructing underlying program theories more open for scrutiny. This is important because mis-reconstruction of policy and program theories is dangerous. All three approaches have a number of weaknesses to be remedied. The paper discusses these shortcomings and presents some suggestions for overcoming the limitations are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5
Number of pages1
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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