Evaluation as a circuit breaker: dealing with the hazards of hidden stakeholder conflict

Catherine Hurley, Angela Lawless, Katherine Biedrzycki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    This article explores the experiences of an external evaluation team in dealing with the use of evaluation to reveal and confront hidden conflict among the program and policy staff involved in a number of community-based early childhood health services. The evaluation was political from the outset, with a number of highly invested groups of stakeholders divided into competing camps in relation to models of practice, power and control issues that arose when attempting to integrate separate services within one region. In uncovering this conflict, the evaluation became the means by which dialogue between the different stakeholders was opened up and contentious issues examined. The processes used by the evaluation team in tackling this highly charged review are discussed in an effort to raise awareness of this potential use of evaluation and to enhance practice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-44
    Number of pages7
    JournalEvaluation Journal of Australasia
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


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