Programs and their outcomes can be predictable,
but often not in the sense of randomness that we have learned about in our classes on probability and statistics.
but often not in the comfortable way we have come to use the term.
Programs and their outcomes can be unpredictable,
Why did I pick 4.669... for my LLC?
Because the number as an apt metaphor for the way evaluation should engage predictability and unpredictability.
So, we need to make changes in our program theories, our choices of methodologies, and how we interpret data.
We don't need exotic new quantitative and qualitative methodologies. For the most part the old standards will do nicely, but we may have to change which ones we use when.
We need to keep our old ways of formulating theory, but we need to lace them with an appreciation of complex behavior.
If our program theories change, so too will how we draw meaning from data.
Is the metaphor appropriate? You can take my word for it and go right to material that describes my career and my work.