Engaging With Program Adaptations in Evaluation: A Range of Existing Options and a New Opportunity

Melvin M. Mark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Premised on the idea that evaluators should be familiar with a range of approaches to program modifications, I review several existing approaches and then describe another, less well-recognized option. In this newer option, evaluators work with others to identify potentially needed adaptations for select program aspects in advance. In describing this approach, I note the general steps involved and present alternative techniques for identifying, a priori, adaptations that may come to be needed. In the final section, I discuss implications of the a priori adaptation planning approach for the fidelity–adaptation trade-off, past criticism of logic models as overly fixed and linear, potential research and evaluation questions, the development of more detailed views of programs in evaluation theory and training, and possible resistance to adaptation planning. Discussion also considers the potential future of program adaptations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-334
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management


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