Skip to main content


As post-secondary institutions across the globe have identified community engagement as a central component of their visions and missions, the interest in measurement and evaluation at the institutional level has increased over the past few decades. Yet the complex, distributed, dynamic and ever-changing nature of community-university engagement poses a number of evaluation challenges. The purpose of this paper is to explore a possible evaluation match called Principles-Focused Evaluation (Patton, 2018) that uses principles as the core evaluand as opposed to specific projects, programs, or initiatives as the focus of evaluation. Principles, when clearly and meaningfully articulated, welcome complexity and provide direction to guide action and behaviour towards desired results within a variety of contexts, without prescribing specific activities or models for what should be done and how. The focus of the article is to articulate a set of effectiveness principles for community-university partnerships that reflect both university and community interests, which is the first step in a principles-focused formative evaluation process. Next steps for a principles-focused evaluation are outlined in order to determine to what extent the process of engaging in community-university partnerships in a principled way is contributing towards the desired results of community-university engagement at the institutional level.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
825 kB



  • Alternative title
    • Developing Evaluable Principles

  • Journal title
    • Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

  • Volume
    • 14

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • License
  • Keywords