Publishing systematic, pragmatic case studies in program evaluation: Rationale and introduction to the special issue

Daniel B. Fishman, William D. Neigher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The present Special Issue proposes that the creation of a database of systematic, pragmatically focused case studies in program planning and evaluation will be useful to both theorist and practitioner. This knowledge-base can (a) facilitate cross-case comparisons for inductively deriving generalizations of best practice; (b) allow practitioners to use the experience of past cases to guide their practice in present cases; and (c) further explore the foundational nature of evaluation as a discipline. This introduction first explores why there are so few published evaluation case studies. It then describes the development of a pragmatic paradigm, including a common analytic framework for facilitating the conduct, documentation, and discussion of individual case studies and for organizing them into a database. The introduction concludes with a cross-case summary comparison of the three cases in this first part of the Special Issue. In the next issue of this journal, a second part of the Special Issue will be presented. This will include three additional case studies and an analysis of all six of the case studies in terms of what we have learned about the theoretical and practical values-as well as the challenges-of creating a database of systematic, pragmatic case studies in evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-428
Number of pages8
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Evaluation practice
  • Program planning
  • Systematic case studies

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