Dialogue on Dialogue

Tineke A. Abma, Jennifer C. Greene, Ove Karlsson, Katherine Ryan, Thomas A. Schwandt, Guy A.M. Widdershoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The text you are about to read is a dialogical text on dialogue and evaluation. It is a conversation between a group of scholars who have studied and published on the concept of dialogue and the value of dialogue for the practice of evaluation. The text is based on the field notes of a panel meeting held during a gathering of the European Evaluation Society to discuss this topic. It also contains an analysis of essays written in preparation for the panel in answer to the following carefully selected questions. What is your concept of dialogue? Why do you think dialogue is important for evaluation, especially for programme evaluation in the public sector and civil society? During an evaluation, what are the essential characteristics of a meaningful dialogue? Who participates? What do they talk about? What is the evaluator's role? What prior value commitments or facilitating conditions are necessary? What are desired outcomes? What are the most important cautions we should take when conducting a more dialogical evaluation and finally, how ‘good’ are the dialogues we conduct, and what in fact constitutes ‘good’ dialogue?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-180
Number of pages17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2001


  • cautions
  • conceptualization of dialogue
  • issues of concern
  • participants in dialogue
  • relevance of dialogue
  • role of the evaluator

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