From time to time during the course of an evaluation, the evaluation team leader may gather observers to discuss observations made at that point in the study and later to discuss results in relation to observed events. The purpose of structured discussion is to clarify issues that have emerged in the study and identify possible cause-and-effect relationships regarding events and results. Each issue is identified and sorted according to relevance to the study and possible influence on programs and results.

One benefit is that all issues can be entertained even if they are not anticipated in the planning stage of a study. Other advantages include the fact that issues can be modified as additional data become ...

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