Evaluation Glossary

Developmental Evaluation

Developmental evaluation (DE) provides evaluative information and feedback to social innovators, and their funders and supporters, to inform adaptive development of change initiatives in complex dynamic environments. Developmental evaluators track, document, and help interpret the nature and implications of innovations and adaptations as they unfold, both the processes and outcomes of innovation, and help extract lessons and insights to inform the ongoing adaptive innovation process.


Patton, M. Q. (2011). Developmental evaluation: Applying complexity concepts to enhance innovation and use. New York, NY: Guildford Press.

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