Text in an evaluative context:Writing for dialogue

Tineke A. Abma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Written texts are an important medium for evaluators to communicate their findings. Evaluation reports take many forms and functions, commonly having the character of a scientific text. An objective and factual description informs readers about the activities and outcomes of the program and its underlying mechanisms. In this article I suggest that a scientific text can be useful when an evaluation aims to determine the worth of a program. However, if the goal of evaluation is to promote a dialogue among those who have an interest in the evaluated program a different kind of text is required. In my attempt to identify an appropriate text for such a purpose I describe and apply the notions of texts developed by postmodern writers self-reflexivity, polyvocality and multiplicityin an evaluative context. The potential of this kind of text is illustrated and critically examined by the responsive evaluation of a Palliative Care project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-454
Number of pages21
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998

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