SAGE Journal Articles

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

Journal Article 1: Astbury, B., & Leeuw, F. L. (2010). Unpacking black boxes: Mechanisms and theory building in evaluation. American Journal of Evaluation, 31, 363–381.

The use of “mechanisms” in evaluations has grown in the evaluation literature in the past several years with attempts to identify mechanisms that link cause-and-effect relationships. This article describes and clarifies the meaning of mechanisms within the context of program evaluation. The authors outline three main characteristics of mechanisms and discuss the theoretical and practical implications for evaluation.

Journal Article 2: Coryn, C. L. S., Noakes, L. A., Westine, C. D., & Schroter, D. C. (2011). A systematic review of theory-driven evaluation practice from 1990-2009. American Journal of Evaluation, 32, 199–226.

These authors systematically examined 45 cases of theory-driven program evaluations to assess the extent to which they complied with key tenants of theory-driven evaluation best practices. An overview of theory-driven evaluation is provided along with key findings and implications of the research.

Journal Article 3: Rogers, P. J. (2008). Using programme theory to evaluate complicated and complex aspects of interventions. Evaluation, 14, 29–48.

This article proposes ways to use programme theory for evaluating aspects of programmes that are complicated or complex. It argues that there are useful distinctions to be drawn between aspects that are complicated and those that are complex, and provides examples of programme theory evaluations that have usefully represented and address both of these.