Facing the Challenge of Evaluating a Complex, Multi-Site Initiative
The Evaluation Exchange, a quarterly publication of the Harvard Family Research Project, Fall, V IX: 3.
Weitzman, B.C. & Silver, D.S.
To overcome some of the limitations of experimental and quasi-experimental designs, evaluators have employed a
"theory of change" (TOC) approach to evaluate comprehensive community initiatives (CCIs). This approach helps identify underlying assumptions, focuses on processes and systems within communities, clarifies desired outcomes, and embraces the complexity of comprehensive interventions. Yet some researchers question the adequacy of TOC to address rival hypotheses to explain findings.