Transformative Research and Evaluation

Donna M. Mertens

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The Intersection of Applied Social Research and Program Evaluation


Rationale for the Transformative Paradigm

Breadth of Transformative Paradigm Applicability

1. Resilience, Resistance, and Complexities That Challenge

In This Chapter

Human Rights Agenda

The Transformative Paradigm as a Metaphysical Umbrella

Need for Transformative Research and Evaluation

Examples of Transformative Research and Evaluation

Examples of Shifting Paradigms

Need for the Transformative Paradigm and Scholarly Literature

Need for the Transformative Paradigm and Public Policy

Complexities That Challenge

Ethical Impetus

Striving for Improved Validity


2. The Transformative Paradigm: Basic Beliefs and Commensurate Theories

In This Chapter

Paradigms and Basic Belief Systems

The Transformative Paradigm and Its Basic Belief Systems

Theories Commensurate with the Transformative Paradigm

Politics and Power


3. Self, Partnerships, and Relationships

In This Chapter

Human Relations as Factors Contributing to Research Validity and Rigor

Knowing Yourself

Knowing Yourself in Relation to the Community

Cultural Competence

Strategies for Developing Relationships/Partnerships

Types of Partnerships/Relationships

Challenges in Relationships/Partnerships

Recognizing the Complexity of Culturally Competent Work

Purposes of Partnerships

Examples of Points of Interaction in the Research Process

Building Capacity


4. Developing the Focus of Research/Evaluation Studies

In This Chapter

Purposes for the Gathering of Information at This Stage of the Inquiry

Sources That Support the Need for Research and Evaluation

Theoretical Frameworks

Making Use of Sources


5. A Transformative Research and Evaluation Model

In This Chapter

Cyclical Models: Indigenous Peoples

Cyclical Model: PAR

Cyclical Models: Immigrant Communities

Short-Term Research and Evaluation

Types of Transformative Research and Evaluation

Transformative Intervention Approaches


6. Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods

In This Chapter

Mixed- and Multiple-Methods Approaches

Case Studies



Participatory Action Research

Appreciative Inquiry

Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs

Survey Design and Correlational and Causal-Comparative Studies

Gender Analysis: A Mixed-Methods Approach with Potential Transfer to Other

Groups That Experience Discrimination

Rigor in the Process of Research and Evaluation


7. Participants: Identification, Sampling, Consent, and Reciprocity

In This Chapter

Social Justice: Dimensions of Diversity and Cultural Competence

Rationale for Sampling Strategies

Recruitment of Participants

Protection of Human Participants and Ethical Review Boards


8. Data-Collection Methods, Instruments, and Strategies

In This Chapter

Reliability and Validity/Dependability and Credibility

Language as a Critical Issue

Planning Data-Collection Strategies

Specific Data-Collection Strategies


9. Data Analysis and Interpretation

In This Chapter

Transformative Theories as Guides to Data Analysis and Interpretation

Involving the Community in Analysis and Interpretation