A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
~~Harry S. Truman
Two sides of the same coin? A different way to say the same thing?
Pessimist, optimist, realist?
OR are you a realist being able to refill the glass (with ice and a couple of shots of your favorite beverage)?
Evaluation is a field which includes all sorts of folks.
The optimist says that they can find a way.
The pessimist says that it isn’t likely.
The realist says it is possible and probable.
Working it out
One way to work it out is to use a logic model.
Another is to use a theory of change.
Keep in mind that you might be wrong even if you apply either/both of the above.
So sometimes, using the tools of evaluation may not get you where you want to be.
There are many approaches to learning something. For example: You can test a Hypothesis (Bill Nye the science guy says that a hypo thesis is an idea below). First, develop a plan; then you test it by gathering data. You analyze the data. And yes, there is some support for your hypothesis.
Or, you have an see an occurrence which repeats itself under various conditions. You find that the emergent idea is dominant. So you control the situation and see if the idea emerges once again. It does!
I’m sure you can do trial and error; you can guess what the outcome will be; or you and follow what your parent did (worked for him/her, should work for you).
You will deal with humons at some point. The humon situation will be your guide.
But what if…
The people you are working with/for want it their way?
What if the end result is really a power and control issue and not one of transparent findings (good or bad).
How do you, the evaluator, address the implied (or actual) power and control.
Where does Standard III (Propriety) and the Guiding Principle D and E (Respect for People and Responsibilities for General and Public Welfare, respectively) enter into the discussion?
Out of your hands, you say? NO. Not really.
And an obligation.
Does that make you a pessimist? Or an optimist? Or a realist? Only you will decide.