n Journal of Public Administration - Fourth generation evaluation research as a form of qualitative constructivist inquiry : the case of the Presidential

Special issue 2
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This article explains the concept and importance of Fourth Generation Evaluation in the context of qualitative constructivist inquiry as a form of qualitative field research and highlights why it is an appropriate method for the study of public activities. The article also argues that there is a growing requirement for a combination of both qualitative and quantitative research in Public Administration. A constructivistic and interpretivistic approach is tested for its applicability by reviewing the Presidential as a potential case-method, supporting Fourth Generation Evaluation as a theoretical construct for a qualitative research approach. The article aimed to establish whether there are any identifiable key elements of participatory evaluation in the Presidential and also to determine whether there are similarities in the methodology of constructivist inquiry and the Presidential .

The article concluded that the specific case study did not fit neatly into the 'Fourth Generation Evaluation' methodology as described by Guba and Lincoln (1989) but most elements of deliberative evaluation and construction building (public debate or involvement) were fittingly visible and transferable to the Presidential .

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