It is not uncommon for evaluators to be asked to perform an evaluation of a project that is well underway or almost finished, yet when they ask questions about comparable baseline data and control groups their clients respond with blank stares. Too typically time and resources are few, yet clients expect "rigorous impact evaluation." And there are also political pressures to deal with.
The RealWorld Evaluation approach was developed specifically to address the need for practical strategies on how to ensure the highest level of methodological rigor consistent with the circumstances under which the evaluation has to be conducted. The book on this topic, authored by Michael Bamberger, Jim Rugh and Linda Mabry, was first published by Sage in 2006.
The 2nd edition, published January 2012, can be ordered from Sage at https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/realworld-evaluation/book234002.
NEW: The RealWorld Evaluation book is available electronically for Kindle at http://amzn.to/12IJvdk