Evaluating youth character development programs using evolutionary evaluation and the systems evaluation protocol

Jennifer Brown Urban, Miriam R. Linver, Julie Thompson, Ronnie Davidson, David Lorimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The importance of engaging in high quality program evaluation is a generally accepted principle underscored by external pressure from funders. High quality evaluation necessarily begins with good evaluation planning. This paper outlines Evolutionary Evaluation and specifically the Systems Evaluation Protocol, an approach that emphasizes practitioner-evaluator collaboration, results in tangible products for programs, and culminates in an evaluation plan appropriate for a specific program’s lifecycle stage. A case study of Inspire>Aspire, a program developed by Character Scotland and used widely in Scotland’s schools and elsewhere is presented and includes a discussion of creative breakthroughs, or ‘Aha!’ Moments, that occurred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-257
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Developmental Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2018


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