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Are program evaluators judges and/or knowledge brokers?

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As Bourdieu1 understood perfectly well, it comes as no surprise that a multidisciplinary field as vast as that of program evaluation, much like public health,2 3 lacks a universally accepted definition. By questioning the way I conduct evaluations in the public health field, a new factor emerged in relation to the traditional definitions: my tendency to carry out evaluations using a process that strives to share knowledge with the stakeholders. Upon reading the preceeding sentence, evaluation specialists will quickly have categorised me as a so-called “fourth-generation” evaluator, grouped with those who have a responsive disposition.4 Beyond the rhetoric, I will strive to show how I have been able, in three settings on three different continents, to act as a “knowledge broker”5 by creating a favourable environment for …

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