J. Bradley Cousins

J. Bradley Cousins
University of Ottawa · Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services

PhD

About

115
Publications
22,839
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4,853
Citations
Citations since 2016
27 Research Items
1809 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
Introduction
Research on evaluation (RoE): collaborative approaches to evaluation (CAE); evaluation policy interface with organizational capacity to do and use evaluation; enhancing evaluation use through technological application. Practice: evaluation capacity building in international development; monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) services

Publications

Publications (115)
Article
Research on program evaluation in the context of patient/family engagement is highly limited. Logically, collaborative approaches to evaluation (CAE) align well with patient/family-centred care philosophy and hold great promise in leveraging desired outcomes. In this longitudinal case intervention study, we tracked a one-year collaborative initiati...
Article
Research and theory on evaluation capacity building (ECB) and organizational evaluation capacity have been developing at a good pace over the past decade. On the other hand, there is a paucity of research on the nature and consequences of organizational evaluation policy. Evaluation policies are developed and implemented ultimately to inform and sh...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluation policy has been identified as an important means of shaping and influencing organizational evaluation practice, yet, to date, little empirical research has been conducted to deepen our understanding of this relationship. The purpose of this study was to illuminate evaluation policy’s role in leveraging organizational capacity to do and u...
Article
As a deeply relational, dialogic, engaged and political approach, the collaborative research context is fairly unique in the world of research, and as such opens up an entirely new set of ethical considerations that serve to differentiate it from other approaches, repositioning ethics as a fundamental rationale for collaborative inquiry. In this pa...
Article
Full-text available
As a deeply relational, dialogic, engaged and political approach, the collaborative research context is fairly unique in the world of research, and as such opens up an entirely new set of ethical considerations that serve to differentiate it from other approaches, repositioning ethics as a fundamental rationale for collaborative inquiry. In this pa...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Research on the role and effects of evaluation policy is limited. Some research on the policy’s role in enhancing organizational evaluation capacity (EC) is beginning to accrue but to date it has been limited largely to global Western evaluation contexts. Purpose: We employed an ecological conceptual framework arising from our own empir...
Book
Editor J. Bradley Cousins and colleagues meet the needs of evaluators seeking to implement collaborative and participatory approaches to evaluation in Collaborative Approaches to Evaluation: Principles in Use. Using a multi-phase empirical process to develop and validate a set of principles to guide collaborative approaches to evaluation, the book...
Article
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Differentiated Instruction (DI) continues to be a framework adopted within K-12 settings as it supports planning for the needs of diverse groups of students. However the research base exploring the implementation of DI is limited. The current study explores the relationships between individual and contextual variables on teachers’ use of DI practic...
Article
This article reports findings from a research program exploring the role of mediation in an "adaptive learning" process through study of developmental evaluation (DE). Our study focuses on how mediators might influence the relationships between components of a social learning system and the implications for adaptive learning. Specifically, we focus...
Article
Social innovations (SIs) frequently bring previously unrelated actors, ideas, and practices together in new configurations with the goal of addressing social needs. However, the dizzying variety of definitions of SI and their dynamic, exploratory character raise dilemmas for evaluators tasked with their evaluations. This article is based on a syste...
Article
J. Bradley Cousins traces some key advice from his mother and the example of his father through serendipitous encounters with mentors and work opportunities as instrumental in helping him develop a practical, utilization and problem-solving orientation to the participatory evaluation approach he has used throughout his informal and professional eva...
Article
Social innovation has gained prominence as a way to address social problems and needs. Evaluators and social innovators are conceptualizing and implementing evaluation approaches for social innovation contexts; however, no systematic effort has yet been made to explore and assess the overlap between evaluation and social innovation based on the emp...
Article
Social innovation has gained prominence as a way to address social problems and needs. Evaluators and social innovators are conceptualizing and implementing evaluation approaches for social innovation contexts; however, no systematic effort has yet been made to explore and assess the overlap between evaluation and social innovation based on the emp...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to test the construct validity of the Evaluation Capacity in Organizations Questionnaire (ECOQ). Conceptually, the ECOQ examines the role of evaluation in organizational development and, most notably in organizational learning. In this model, evaluation capacity building (ECB) initiatives are assumed to contribute to t...
Article
Despite efforts for greater patient engagement in health care quality improvement, evaluation practice in this context remains mostly conventional and noncollaborative. Following an explication of this problem we discuss relevant theory and research on patient-centred care (PCC) and patient engagement and then con-sider potential benefits of collab...
Article
Social innovation (SI) is billed as a new way to address complex social problems. Interest in SI has intensified rapidly in the last decade, making it an important area of practice for evaluators, but a difficult one to navigate. Learning from developments in SI and evaluation approaches applied in SI contexts is challenging because of ‘fuzzy’ conc...
Conference Paper
Making valid inferences regarding the impact of a program is fundamentally a question of construct validity, the adequacy and appropriateness of causal inferences. A necessary first step in construct validation, the process used to legitimize causal inferences, is to define and represent program theory. However, how do we do that when a program is...
Article
How do evaluators using collaborative approaches to evaluation (CAE) define success? This is the core question being asked in a further analysis of data from our previous work ( Cousins, Whitmore, & Shulha, 2013 ; Shulha et al., 2016) that developed a set of evidence-based principles to guide collaborative evaluation practice. Probing data from 320...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper draws on empirical studies on evaluation practices in social innovation contexts published between 2000-2015. We focus on mapping the landscape of the current empirical knowledge base, identifying forces and influences driving evaluation practices, and how these practices affect social innovations. We identify implications for practice a...
Article
Trough a guided discussion, this article explores a fve-year cross-cultural evaluation relationship comprising multiple projects involving an evaluator from Canada and a group of Indian colleagues working on educational reform in India. Te initiative was funded through a multilateral consortium of donors and involved Western evaluation specialists...
Article
Objectives: In this exploratory study, we wanted to know how evaluators differentiate collaborative approaches to evaluation (CAE) perceived to be successful from those perceived to be less-than-successful. Method: In an online questionnaire survey, we obtained 320 responses from evaluators who practice CAE (i.e., evaluations on which program st...
Article
Th rough a guided discussion, this article explores a five-year cross-cultural evaluation relationship comprising multiple projects involving an evaluator from Canada and a group of Indian colleagues working on educational reform in India. Th e initiative was funded through a multilateral consortium of donors and involved Western evaluation special...
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Full-text available
This article introduces a set of evidence-based principles to guide evaluation practice in contexts where evaluation knowledge is collaboratively produced by evaluators and stakeholders. The data from this study evolved in four phases: two pilot phases exploring the desirability of developing a set of principles; an online questionnaire survey that...
Article
Calls for more and better research on evaluation (RoE) have been sounded for some 20 years now and the recent appearance of several significant reviews of empirical research suggests that interest in RoE is on the rise. Although many empirical studies on evaluation and syntheses of such studies result in implications for evaluation policy and pract...
Article
This article is a review and integration of evaluation utilization literature with a new focus on the use of technology to increase evaluation utility. Scholarship on evaluation utilization embodies one of the major and ongoing quandaries in the evaluation profession: What constitutes usefulness and relevance to stakeholders? We think that a constr...
Article
This article is a review and integration of evaluation utilization literature with a new focus on the use of technology to increase evaluation utility. Scholarship on evaluation utilization embodies one of the major and ongoing quandaries in the evaluation profession: What constitutes usefulness and relevance to stakeholders? We think that a constr...
Article
Full-text available
It can be argued that participatory evaluation and social pedagogy share several interconnections given their respective developments and evolutions. In this paper we explore affinities between these two domains of inquiry in order to understand points of intersection and departure at deeper levels that has occurred to date. Following a recent revi...
Article
Full-text available
It can be argued that participatory evaluation and social pedagogy share several interconnections given their respective developments and evolutions. In this paper we explore affinities between these two domains of inquiry in order to understand points of intersection and departure at deeper levels that has occurred to date. Following a recent revi...
Article
The construct of organizational evaluation capacity is a concept that is receiving increasing attention in theoretical and research-based literature. It is situated within a stream of inquiry that has come to be known as evaluation capacity building (ECB). This chapter reviews evolving conceptions of ECB and recent research and theory in the area....
Article
Research on organizational evaluation capacity building (ECB) has focused very much on the capacity to do evaluation, neglecting organizational demand for evaluation and the capacity to use it. This qualitative multiple case study comprises a systematic examination of organizational capacity within eight distinct organizations guided by a common co...
Article
Chapter 2 of this volume provided a close look at the evaluation capacity of eight distinct organizations. The organizations were selected on the basis of their interest in and commitment to evaluation as leverage for program and organizational change. Having examined each of the organizations in terms of context, evaluation drivers, evaluation cap...
Article
We provide some concluding reflections about the sustainability of organizational capacity for evaluation arising from informal communications with some of our case organizations.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we focus on participatory evaluation in the context of international development and specifically on the emerging empirical knowledge base. In a prior review and critique of research on participatory evaluation (Cousins and Chouinard 2012), we examined 121 studies, with only 21 (17 %) situated in development contexts. However, the ci...
Article
Full-text available
Research on evaluation capacity is limited although a recent survey article on integrating evaluation into the organizational culture (Cousins, Goh, Clark, & Lee, 2004) revealed that interest in the topic is increasing. While knowledge about building the capacity to do evaluation has developed considerably, less is understood about building the org...
Article
Program evaluation is becoming increasingly important in pediatric rehabilitation settings that adhere to the family-centered service (FCS) philosophy. However, researchers know little about the specific evaluation activities occurring in these settings or the extent to which evaluators/service providers uphold FCS in their program evaluation activ...
Article
Organizational evaluation capacity building has been a topic of increasing interest in recent years. However, the actual dimensions of evaluation capacity have not been clearly articulated through empirical research. This study sought to address this gap by identifying the key dimensions of evaluation capacity in Canadian federal government organiz...
Article
Purpose: This study explored ways in which program evaluation activities in pediatric rehabilitation settings can become congruent with family-centered service (FCS) philosophy. Methods: Two Canadian pediatric rehabilitation centers participated in this study, which included focus groups with staff members and interviews with parents. Results:...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we critique two recent theoretical developments about collaborative inquiry in evaluation—using logic models as a means to understand theory, and efforts to compartmentalize versions of collaborative inquiry into discrete genres—as a basis for considering future direction for the field. We argue that collaborative inquiry in evalua...
Article
In this short paper I reflect on the application of a program logic modeling approach to visualizing evaluation theory as it relates to practical participatory evaluation (PPE). The work of Hansen, Alkin and associates presented in this volume is well-thought out, carefully done, rigorous, and important. I found that their application of the approa...
Article
Explanation seeking in academic settings has been characterized in recent research as an achievement related strategy. The impact of explanation seeking on achievement and attitudes was examined in three studies (N = 65 Grade 7 and 8 students and 96 Grade 9 and 10 students) in which the participants learned how to solve correlational reasoning prob...
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As a fairly new and emergent construct, there remain many gaps in our knowledge about how to integrate notions of culture and cultural context into evaluation theory and practice, as well as gaps in our knowledge about how to conduct and implement evaluations in immigrant and indigenous communities. In this article, the authors provide a comprehens...
Article
This paper provides a reflective account of a consultation process on professional designations for evaluators initiated and coordinated by the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES). Described are (1) the forces leading CES to generate discussion and debate about professional designations for Canadian evaluators, (2) the process of developing and imple...
Article
This article provides commentary for the thematic segment titled "Applying a variety of methods to the evaluation of various efforts aimed at transferring knowledge generated from research." The authors revisit arguments supporting inquiry that takes up the challenge of connecting cognate fields of evaluation utilization and the broader domain of k...
Article
This article describes the planning of a multi-agency and multi-stakeholder evaluation of the implementation of supportive housing. The Ottawa HousingPlus Collaborative Communities project is a collaboration between university-based evaluators and members of a local network of supportive housing providers. The objectives of the initiative are (1) t...
Article
According to the literature published on the topic, the development of an organization's capacity to do and use evaluation typically follows four stages: traditional evaluation, characterized by externally mandated evaluation activities; awareness and experimentation, during which organizational members learn about evaluation and its benefits by pa...
Article
Despite increasing interest in the integration of evaluative inquiry into organizational functions and culture, the availability of empirical research addressing organizational capacity building to do and use evaluation is limited. This exploratory descriptive survey of internal evaluators in Canada asked about evaluation capacity building in the c...
Article
The special issue is devoted to the examination of organizational capacity for evaluation and evaluation capacity building (ECB) through empirical inquiry. The compilation consists of two quantitative surveys of evaluators and seven single or multiple case studies across a broad array of organizations in a diverse contexts (e.g., east-central Ontar...
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An earlier study by Chakrabarty and Rogé evaluated the dimensionality of the Organizational Learning Survey for assessing the learning capability of organizations developed by Goh and Richards. In this paper, the survey was re-evaluated for unidimensionality using both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Retaining 18 of the original 21 it...
Article
The authors draw on empirical research on evaluation to consider how process use has been operationalized to date and what this may mean for ongoing research in this area.
Article
Full-text available
In this commentary, a longtime admirer of Cousins and Whitmore discusses why their 1998 article on participatory evaluation made an important contribution to the field.This chapter posits two principal streams of participatory evaluation, practical participatory evaluation and transformative participatory evaluation, and compares them on a set of d...
Article
Full-text available
The problem of bullying has gained attention in recent years. Schools are investing significant resources into antibullying programs, despite scant evidence of program effectiveness. Three hundred ninety-five schools responded to a province-wide survey, whose purpose was (a) to describe the evaluation activities of schools relative to their antibul...
Article
Full-text available
In recent review of the literature on integrating evaluative inquiry into organizational culture, Cousins, Goh, Clark and Lee [Cousins, J.B., Goh, S., Clark, S. & Lee, L. (2004). Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation 19(2), 99–144] suggest that there is a link between evaluative inquiry and organizational learning in schools. However, there have b...
Article
Despite growing interest in evaluative inquiry as a trigger for development of organizational learning capacity, there exists a paucity of empirical research in this area. This is particularly the case in the context of schools, where systematic inquiry to support decision making and problem solving is hardly a mainstream activity. The purpose of t...
Article
Evaluative inquiry--systematically gathering and analyzing data for the purposes of judging program or innovation merit, worth or significance and/or supporting ongoing school-based decision making and problem solving--is an option available to educators that is not often used; this despite recent interest in action research and school-based evalua...
Article
Full-text available
Because bullying is a serious problem in Canadian schools, antibullying programs have been widely implemented to redress the problem. School principals in Ontario (N=395) completed a questionnaire to document the severity of bullying, the amount of anti-bullying resources, and the variety of antibullying activities in their schools. Results reveal...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter posits two principal streams of participatory evaluation, practical participatory evaluation and transformative participatory evaluation, and compares them on a set of dimensions relating to control, level, and range of participation. The authors then situate them among other forms of collaborative evaluations.
Article
Despite increasing interest in process evaluation and the development of a variety of approaches to assess program implementation, several methodological challenges remain. Of particular concern is the development of ways not only to adequately determine the extent to which programs are implemented as intended but the provision of effective means t...
Article
Although stakeholder-based evaluation has been fairly well developed in the general program evaluation literature, it remains barely recognized in training evaluation practice. This article aims to contribute to our understanding of multiple stakeholder perceptions about training evaluation in an organizational context. Extending prior empirical wo...
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of applying adult education principles to training in advanced-technology companies. First, we wanted to identify strengths and weaknesses of the training program’s content and delivery using a framework of adult education principles, in an effort to improve program design, curriculum development,...
Article
Concept mapping and pattern matching techniques were used in exploratory research to investigate differences in stakeholder perceptions of training results and evaluation in a major division of a multinational network-design and engineering company. Referencing a research framework informed by multiple constituency views of organizational effective...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have treated teacher efficacy as a unitary trait without considering how teachers’expectations of their ability to produce student learning varies within teaching assignments. In this study, teachers in nine restructuring secondary schools in one district estimated their ability to perform common teaching tasks in four of the cours...
Article
Few studies exist on the impact of practical participatory evaluation when the evaluator is not only a member of the organization, but also has program knowledge and expertise. This paper addresses this gap in the literature by reporting on a 2.5-year longitudinal single case study of practical participatory evaluation of a national, publicly funde...
Article
This paper examines how teachers' expectations of their ability to produce student learning varies within teaching assignments. In the study described here, 359 teachers in 9 restructuring secondary schools in 1 district estimated their ability to perform common teaching tasks in 4 of the courses they expected to teach in the coming school year. Re...
Article
This study provides a basis for the development of outcome indicators for management training programs suited to technology–intensive companies. We argue that training outcomes should be conceptualized in terms of dimensions associated with the success of product development projects (PDPs), a perspective that departs from conventional trainee sati...
Article
As part of a larger effort by members of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Topical Interest Group on Evaluation Use (TIGEU), we undertook an extensive review and synthesis of literature in evaluation use published since 1986. We observe several recent developments in theory, research and practice arising from this literature. These developm...
Article
As part of a larger effort by members of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Topical Interest Group on Evaluation Use (TIG-EU), we undertook an extensive review and synthesis of literature in evaluation use published since 1986. We observe several recent developments in theory, research and practice arising from this literature. These develop...
Article
Despite growing theoretical interest in collaborative and participatory forms of evaluation, little is known about evaluators' perceptions about such evaluation practices or their views about its viability. This article reports results from a survey of Canadian and American evaluators concerning such perceptions. Five-hundred and sixty-four evaluat...