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Abstract

This chapter gives the rationale and conceptual defense for the Systematic Screening and Assessment (SSA) Method, a way to identify the most promising innovations in preparation for rigorous evaluation. The SSA Method starts by identifying the innovations that real-world practitioners have developed and then systematically assesses which innovations will offer the greatest payoff from further evaluation. Through sequential purchase of evaluative information, the SSA Method aims to avoid a variety of problems that evaluators encounter in studying innovations. Besides the identification of promising innovations for evaluation, the benefits include expert technical assistance and feedback to innovators, cross-site syntheses of trends and common practices, and cost efficiency compared to evaluating innovations that have not been selected or screened for promise. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc., and the American Evaluation Association.