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Developing a systemic program evaluation methodology: A critical systems perspective

Torres-Cuello, Maria Alejandra; Pinzón-Salcedo, Luis; Midgley, Gerald


Maria Alejandra Torres-Cuello

Luis Pinzón-Salcedo


In recent years, there has been an increased interest within the program evaluation field for introducing systems thinking concepts. However, most of these attempts have been primarily directed towards supporting the practice of evaluation and not towards making theoretical advancements. This article is focused on introducing systems thinking, and specifically perspectives and concepts from the work in critical systems thinking (CST), at a theoretical level in the program evaluation field, towards a reframing of the Fourth Generation Evaluation methodology. The process for carrying out such reframing is introduced, as well as describing the major changes produced in the evaluation methodology by incorporating the CST perspective. A new model is proposed, and how this model may be beneficial for conducting an evaluation is discussed with recommendations made for future developments.


Torres-Cuello, M. A., Pinzón-Salcedo, L., & Midgley, G. (2018). Developing a systemic program evaluation methodology: A critical systems perspective. Systems research and behavioral science, 35(5), 538-547 .

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 29, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 22, 2018
Publication Date Oct 22, 2018
Deposit Date Nov 7, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 23, 2020
Journal Systems Research and Behavioral Science
Print ISSN 1092-7026
Electronic ISSN 1099-1743
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 5
Pages 538-547
Keywords Systems thinking; Program evaluation; Boundary critique; Fourth Generation Evaluation (FGE)
Public URL
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