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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-65

The pitfalls of psychosocial evaluations: a critical perspective from a field worker

pediatrician and child psychiatrist, has worked in: Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Ingushetia, Chechnia, North Ossetia-Allania, Pakistan, and Iraq., Iraq

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Evaluations of psychosocial projects are meant to contribute to better projects. However, in practice, the evaluation process, in particular when done by external evaluators, can pose its own difficulties. Based on a wide field experience, the author presents arguments about how evaluations can cause problems, and even produce negative effects in project staff and recipients of assistance. Psychological processes triggered by external evaluators, or appearing in the process of evaluation, can create uneasiness in field workers. Also, some evaluation methods have questionable cultural acceptability. The author argues that evaluation designers, publishers of evaluation reports and researchers have an ethical and social responsibility.

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