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COSTA, Delaine Martins  and  MAGALHAES, Rosana. Evaluation of health programs, strategies, and actions: a dialogue with critical realism. Saúde debate [online]. 2019, vol.43, n.spe7, pp.189-203.  Epub July 13, 2020. ISSN 2358-2898.

Critical realism can be defined as an approach within the philosophy of science and social theory, which proposes a scientific model of explanation about the reality that denies the traditional epistemological poles of positivism and relativism (or idealism). It gathers different authors and has implications on the debate about the future of contemporary sociological theory. Regarding the field of evaluation of social policies and programs in health, the critical realistic approach has brought news perspectives regarding evidence, impact, and results. This theoretical essay aimed to present the main contributions of critical realism to the evaluation of policies, programs, and interventions in health, as well as to dialogue with authors that have addressed and reflected directly or indirectly on the ontology of the programs in the practice of evaluation and its implications for the design of such interventions.

Keywords : Health evaluation; Program evaluation; Health inequalities.

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