Articles, Tip Sheets, & Papers

 Here you will find…

Articles & Guest Blog Posts

Case Studies/Tip Sheets

You’re Worth the Investment: Now Prove It. Six Steps to Effective Evaluation Planning. Tip sheet. Your evaluation plan can make or break your grant funding proposals and chances for future funding and growth. This tip sheet by Bernadette Wright and Ladel Lewis presents six steps to planning an evaluation that gets you useful results.

Strategic Knowledge Maps in Action. Case study. Strategic Knowledge Mapping is a new way to assess and improve a map, or a set of interconnected ideas, such as a strategic plan, a program, or a law. We can also use Integrative Propositional Analysis (IPA) to link together related maps. This 3-page case study shows the new method in action to assess and find ways to improve a sample map for a coalition to reduce drug abuse.

When Is a Good Time for Evaluation? Tip sheet. Incorporating evaluation and strategic research from the start of a projects provides leaders with valuable unique insights that can enable them increase their competitiveness and positive impact, in addition to demonstrating their results to funders and stakeholders. This tip sheet provides a chart of example questions that are often relevant in each stage of a project and example uses of the evaluation findings.

Checklist for Choosing an Internal Evaluation or External Evaluator. Tip sheet. Will you evaluate your project in-house or work with an external evaluator? Whether you are seeking to identify effective ways to design a new project (formative evaluation), demonstrate what your activities accomplished (summative evaluation), or both, this checklist will help you decide.

Asking Useful Evaluation Questions. Tip sheet. “So what?” is a question that every evaluation must answer. This tip sheet provides considerations and a flow chart that can help you decide if a question would be useful to answer, to ensure you get information you can use to benefit your activities.

On the Road to Ethical Research. Tip sheet. As you write that winning proposal, it’s important to anticipate ethical issues that may arise during your project. These issues arise in specifying the research problem; identifying a purpose statement and research questions; and collecting, analyzing, and disseminating the results of the data. This resource provides examples.

Ethics Anyone? A Guide to Ethics in Social Research. Tip sheet. Whether you are evaluating your organization’s activities in-house, commissioning an external evaluation, or working as an evaluation consultant, ethical questions are likely to be an issue. This resource guide describes professional guidelines/publications and suggested further reading on ethics in evaluation and social research.

Case Studies in Action. Tip sheet. Case studies are a frequently misunderstood, valuable research method. This tip sheet describes how you can use case studies for:

  1. marketing and messaging,
  2. demonstrating impact, and
  3. identifying the best strategies for your specific circumstances.

Reading Lists

Reading List: Integrative Propositional Analysis, Causal Knowledge Mapping, & Assessing Research Quality. Integrative Propositional Analysis (IPA) and Causal Knowledge Mapping are methods for improving understanding of and ability to address policies, programs, and systems.The materials in this reading list detail the research behind these techniques, examples of how they are applies, software/tools, tools for assessing the quality of evidence, and more. This is part of the handouts for participants at our workshop at the American Evaluation Association 2018 Summer Evaluation Institute.

Suggested Books on Research and Evaluation. Here, we summed up some suggested books on applied research and evaluation methods. These books correct common misconceptions about evaluation and provide good information on the basics of results-focused evaluation.


Integrative propositional analysis for understanding and reducing poverty. Steven E. Wallis & Bernadette Wright. Kybernetes. 2018. 

Re-Structuring Evaluation Findings into Useful Knowledge, Danielle Houston, Bernadette Wright, & Steven E. Wallis. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation (JMDE), September, 2017.

Integrative Propositional Analysis: The Missing Link for Creating More Effective Laws, Steven Wallis & Bernadette Wright, Science of Laws Journal, April 8, 2016.

Using Integrative Propositional Analysis to Evaluate and Integrate Economic Policies of U.S. Presidential Candidates, Steven E. Wallis, Bernadette Wright, & Franklin David Nash. 2016.

Using Integrative Propositional Analysis for Evaluating Entrepreneurship Theories. Bernadette Wright & Steven E. Wallis. SAGE Open, September 2015.

Strategic Knowledge Mapping: The Co-Creation of Useful Knowledge. Steven E. Wallis & Bernadette Wright. Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, Vol 42, 2015.

  • Winner of 2015 Best Paper Award, Innovations and Future Directions in Education Track, 42nd Annual ABSEL (Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning) Meeting, Las Vegas, March 2015.

The ASK MATT Tabletop Game: An Unorthodox Approach to Mapping Emerging Knowledge. Steven Wallis & Bernadette Wright. Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, Vol 42, 2015.

Strategic Planning 3.0. White paper. Describes four levels of strategic planning and how each supports effective decision making.

Strategic Knowledge Mapping for Improved Policy and Strategic Planning. White paper. Explains why previous approaches to strategic planning have failed and how to create a more effective map using innovative approaches.

The Science of Conceptual Systems: Its History and Usefulness for Improved Decision-Making and Organizational Success. White paper. A deeper look at the academic research on how to improve effective decision-making for organizational success.

When to Use a Randomized Controlled Trial and When Not to. White paper. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) to measure your outcomes is expensive. You do not want to conduct one unless it is going to be useful. This resource guide introduces ways you can tell what approach might work for your situation,

Reuse, Recycle: Rethink Research. White paper. Reviewing related research can let you avoid wasting time and money re-testing things that other studies have already demonstrated. Here, we introduce tips and resources that you can use to review the evidence in a cost-effective and reliable way.