Building Capacity in Program Practitioner Realist Evaluation Through Application of CAE Principles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sport for Development (SfD) projects are under close scrutiny, concerning the capacity that sport has to create social change. Critics have argued that understanding ‘what works for whom and why’ is required when evaluating SfD projects. This chapter explores stakeholder involvement in evaluation, mobilising an Integrated Instructional Framework (IIF) with emerging SfD practitioners which incorporates elements of both Shulha et al’s (2016) principles to guide collaborative approaches to evaluation (CAE) and realist evaluation (Pawson & Tilley, 1997). Specifically, 15 practitioners participated encompassing 5 community focused SfD projects delivered within an innovation program at a university in the United Kingdom. The IIF was evaluated incorporating Q-method factor analysis. Findings on the value of the IIF for practitioners emerged. Four groups of practitioners emerged depicting how the CAE principles applied to enable the practitioners to mobilise realist evaluation. These groups were ‘new and emerging evaluators’, ‘polished problem solvers’, ‘passive passengers’, and ‘proficient yet sceptical practitioners’. These were described using holistic narratives demonstrating shared viewpoints about the IIF and the relevance of the CAE principles. In conclusion, the CAE principles embedded within the IIF were pivotal to enable emergent practitioner evaluation capacity development
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Test Drive of Principles for Collaborative Approaches to Evaluation (CAE)
Place of PublicationThousand Oaks, California
PublisherSage Publications
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


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