Document Type



Behavioral and Organizational Sciences (CGU), Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Social and Behavioral Sciences


One of the topics I was determined to discuss with my European colleagues at the Helsinki Conference was the use of theory in evaluation practice. I was thrilled to stumble upon several thought provoking discussions regarding the use of theory in evaluation. A common theme was the belief that teaching evaluation practitioners about theory was critical to a better future for the evaluation discipline. But why is theory so important? The session I addressed on this topic also involved Frans Leeuw, Evert Vedung and Gary Henry. I emerged from the session with some new (and old) insights about evaluation theory and evaluation practice. This brief article summarizes what I learnt – and what I said.

Rights Information

© 2012 European Evaluation Society