Values engagement in evaluation: Ideas, illustrations, and implications

Jori N. Hall, Jeehae Ahn, Jennifer C. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Values-engagement in evaluation involves both describing stakeholder values and prescribing certain values. Describing stakeholder values is common practice in responsive evaluation traditions. Prescribing or advocating particular values is only explicitly part of democratic, culturally responsive, critical, and other openly ideological traditions in evaluation, but we argue that it is implicit in all evaluation approaches and practices. In this article, we discuss various conceptualizations of values-engagement in evaluation. We further present a specific form of values-engaged evaluation that is committed to descriptive and prescriptive valuing, with an emphasis on its prescriptive advancement of the values of inclusion and equity. Examples from field experience illustrate these two countenances and underscore the multiple challenges invoked by intentional engagement with the values dimensions of evaluation. The examples come from evaluations of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-207
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • democratic evaluation
  • prescriptive valuing
  • responsive evaluation
  • STEM educational evaluation
  • values-engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Values engagement in evaluation: Ideas, illustrations, and implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this