The ethical tipping points of evaluators in conflict zones

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Publication details

JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
DateE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jun 2014
DatePublished (current) - 2014
Issue number3
Number of pages22
Early online date4/06/14
Original languageEnglish


What is different about the conduct of evaluations in conflict zones compared to non-conflict zones – and how do these differences affect (if at all) the ethical calculations and behavior of evaluators? When are ethical issues too risky, or too uncertain, for evaluators to accept – or to continue -- an evaluation? These are the core questions guiding this article. Part I considers how the particularities of conflict zones affect our ability to conduct evaluations. Part II undertakes a selective review of the literature to better understand how ethical issues have been addressed both in evaluation research and evaluation manuals. Part III draws on a series of structured conversations with evaluators to probe more deeply into the ethical challenges they face in conflict zones -- with a particular interest in the ‘ethical tipping points’ of evaluators. Part IV considers ways evaluation actors can manage ethical challenges in conflict zones, concluding with a brief discussion of how these issues might be located more centrally in evaluation research and practice.

    Research areas

  • Conflict Zones, Ethics, Evaluation, Methodology

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