Participatory evaluation is commonly understood as stakeholder involvement in evaluation decision-making and is generally accepted as a means of increasing the use of evaluation information. There are, however, few empirical studies that attempt to explain the causal processes of participatory evaluation and how it is expected to work to increase the use of evaluation information. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of participatory evaluation by testing a series of causal relations in a proposed model of participatory evaluation. An intervening mechanism design (Chen, 1990) in conjunction with structural equation modeling was used to test the plausibility of the model. The sample included 315 elementary and secondary teachers who participated in the 1995/1996 British Columbia School Accreditation Program. Results indicated the model was a plausible representation of the data and was thereby a tenable explanation of how participatory evaluation can be expected to work to increase the use of evaluation information.
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