Meccanismi e valutazione: un confronto tra approcci - The paper introduces theory-oriented evaluation, a set of approaches that argue for a stronger role of theory in evaluation. Theory-oriented evaluation criticizes mainstream objectives-inputs-outputs evaluation for poor contribution to knowledge cumulation due according to these authors - to the overwhelming role played by method. The paper develops a comparison between the two most influential approaches in theory-oriented evaluation, i.e. Carol Weiss’ theory-based evaluation and its concepts of program theory and implementation theory, and realistic evaluation by Ray Pawson and Nick Tilley, based on the concepts of context, mechanism and outcome. For each of them principal features and problems will be discussed; moreover, a strict comparison will be worked out to define similarities and differences.
Key words: theory-based evaluation, realistic evaluation, mechanism, context, implementation, perfect and bounded rationality
Parole chiave: valutazione basata sulla teoria, valutazione realistica, meccanismo, contesto, implementazione, razionalità assoluta e limitata