Kazi, Mansoor, Blom, Bjorn, Moren, Stefan, Perdal, Anna-Lena and Rostila, Ilmari (2002) Realist evaluation for practice in Sweden, Finland and Britain. Journal of Social Work Research and Evaluation, 3 (2). pp. 171-186. ISSN 1521-3668

This article outlines the new, emerging realist paradigm in evaluation research and applies
it to social work practice in three countries. This paradigm has the potential for a "white
box" evaluation that not only systematically tracks outcomes but also the mechanisms
that produce the outcomes, the contexts in which these mechanisms are triggered, and
the content of the interventions. Human service programs introduce interventions that
interact with the other causal mechanisms in the contexts of service users to produce
outcomes. The purpose of realist evaluation is to investigate what works, for whom, and
in what contexts. Practice examples are provided from Britain, Sweden, and Finland.

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