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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

Program Theory

Program theory is a systematic configuration of stakeholders’ prescriptive assumptions (what actions are required to solve a problem) and descriptive assumptions (why the problem will respond to the action) underlying a program – whether explicit or implicit assumptions are made by stakeholders. As the success of a program in reaching its goals depends on the validity of its program theory, an evaluation based on the conceptual framework of program theory provides information not only on whether a program is effective or ineffective but the reasons for either.


Chen (2005: 340)

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