A Developmental Evaluation Companion

Author: Gamble, J., McKegg, K., & Cabaj, M. (2021)
Publication Date: 2021

Gamble, J., McKegg, K., & Cabaj, M. (2021). A Developmental Evaluation Companion. Montreal, QC: The McConnell Foundation.


Developed as a follow up publication to the original Developmental Evaluation Primer written in 2008, this companion expands the niche of developmental evaluation (DE) from an evaluation approach for innovation to an approach for complexity. This re-positioning comes at a time of increasing complexity, adaptation, and social innovation. The companion is organized into three sections: ‘introducing DE’ (niche, principles, roles, context, and practice of DE); ‘grappling with DE’ (capabilities and values of evaluators, readiness for change, and managing the process of DE); and ‘designing a developmental evaluation’ (guidance on design, methods, and utilization of findings). The companion is supported by case studies which illustrate DE in practice.

Potential use

An excellent resource for those engaging in research and evaluation in rapidly changing, uncertain and complex situations. This 70-page companion provides a comprehensive review of DE in action, highlights important considerations for engaging in DE practice, and provides useful strategies for dealing with common challenges. The McConnell Foundation has an additional resource library posted on their website ( which further elaborate on topics found within the companion.

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