Thomas Schwandt takes up Kenneth Prewitt’s framework of narratives, metrics, and use for addressing accountability issues for the social sciences. Schwandt argues that accountability needs to be imagined within a “dialogical space” that joins social scientists with policymakers, funders, and the public in an exchange about the values and purposes of research, rather than a one-way flow of communication from knowledge producer to user.
Thomas Schwandt is professor emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He currently serves on the International Evaluation Advisory Panel to the Independent Evaluation Office of the United Nations Development Program and is an active member of EvalSDGs, a network of policymakers, evaluation researchers, and practitioners committed to promoting and enhancing the central role of program and policy evaluation in the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He is editor emeritus of the American Journal of Evaluation. With Kenneth Prewitt and Miron Straf, he coauthored the NRC report Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy.