Commentary Logo
Japan Island disputes in Southeast Asia    World War III Alarm Anti-Islam video and anti-US sentiment    Skull Say no to brainwashing

       peace and anti-war Israel Iran strike imminent    sanctions as a result of nuclear tests Sanctions on Iran and workarounds    black lightning bolt India's massive blackout

Snapshots of news
Gearheads and mastheads
Home  •  About this site  •  How did we once fight corruption in colonial Hong Kong?
 •  Historical US administrative thoughts  •  USA versus colonial Hong Kong
 •  Anti-corruption review of Nigeria  •  Procurement monitoring in Nigeria
 •  Syndicated news  •  Usman's blog  •  Anti-graft news  •  Socialist news

 Thursday, October 27 2016 5:05am Hongkong Time

SKIP TO     Home

From the evaluator's perspective: Justified conclusions and decisions

Raymond Cheng

Earlier today, a student emailed me and asked what is best for him to do in his project. He was somehow struggling between doing a comprehensive review on the historical development of a particular issue and a comparison between old and new methodologies in the study of the same topic. I hesitated and didn't answer him right away because I see no reason why one should be absolutely better than the other. In fact, it all boils down to what the student wants to achieve and how the study would benefit him or, if possible, be useful for his future professional work and endeavors. To this end, I therefore checked out his LinkedIn profile to see if I can find some answers or maybe some hints to this. And after reviewing his profile, I realized that what was best for him – a clear understanding of the upcoming methodologies and tools used in researching the topic – because he is an inquirer and a person fascinated by the search of truth; it was just that he was a bit lost when he asked the question.

The reason why I bring this up was because nothing is universal when it comes to evaluation – which is especially true for the accuracy standard: A1 Justified Conclusions and Decisions [1]. Meanings, ideas, concepts all changes according to the stakeholders involved and what they are doing or what they will do. For evaluations to be accurate and results trustworthy we must focus on the context of which the stakeholders' question are concerned (Yarbrough, 2011) – and in the case of my student it wasn't just about the project but what he can possibly gain in the days to come, or, how he could eventually be benefitted from his project in the long run (especially in terms of the future research that he would likely conduct based on the findings of the project).

Likewise, timing is also one of the very crucial factors. Let us take nylon as an example. Nylon, a synthetic product invented by scientists jointly from New York and London (and that's why the name 'NY-Lon'), was rationed during World War II because it is such a strong material for making army supplies like the parachute – and good parachutes do save soldiers' lives. As a result, only wealthy ladies would be able to afford the expensive stockings in those days (as most of them were made of nylon). The consequence – was that most of the ladies would have to paint their legs with a wash that consists of cocoa, tea or gravy to make them look as if they had put their stockings on (as shown in Figure 1 below). They would, afterwards, draw seam lines on their legs too using an eyebrow pencil to complete the illusion (as shown in Figure 2).

Figure 1. Illustration Richter #197, "Two students in Alpha Delta Pi painting their legs", photo archived at the Hargrett Library, University of Georgia Libraries. Retrieved September 30, 2013 from

Figure 2. Lady drawing seam line. Photo taken from "Greatest generation: Our grandparents were heroes once", by The National WWII Museum. Retrieved October 6, 2013 from

So, let us assess. If we were to evaluate a business proposal in the 1940s about starting a beauty shop that helps ladies draw seam lines on the back of their legs (e.g. like Figure 3 below), people would say, "Great! This is going to be such a good idea!" But if we were to do it today, what do you think your friends would say? "What?! Put gravy on the leg? Are you serious?" Factors, opinions, and conditions that are gathered during one time may not still be valid when decisions are later made. In short, presumptions could be fatal.

Figure 3. See blogspot, "Clothes, Cameras and Coffee: Do-gooders" by Rosalind Jana. Retrieved October 6, 2013 from

While regional variations have to be accommodated and the same evaluation standards cannot possibly be copied from one context and then directly applied to another (Chatterji, 2005; Hopson, 2001), the way we conclude and make decisions will also have to be carefully readjusted and re-calibrated according to the context as well as the era or times during which the evaluation takes place. To put it simply, there is just no right or wrong, it all depends on the situation – and maybe one day our great grand daughters will find painting their legs with gravy and drawing fake seam lines cool and trendy again. Yet, touch wood, no one wants a Third World War – let there be peace!

October 8, 2013


Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA, is the founder and chief editor of He is an adjunct professor in international business and in marketing, an independent policy analyst as well as a language and cultural briefing consultant.

Email Raymond at raymond {dot} cheng {at} kellogg {dot} oxon {dot} org

SKIP TO     Home

Note 1: A1 "Justified Conclusions and Decisions" is one of the accuracy standards published by the U.S. Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE), for details please see


  • Chatterji, M. (2005). Applying the Joint Committee's 1994 standards in international contexts: A case study of education evaluations in Bangladesh. Teachers College Record, 107 (10), 2372-2400.
  • Hopson, R. (2001). Global and local conversations on culture, diversity, and social justice in evaluation: Issues to consider in a 9/11 era. American Journal of Evaluation, 22, 381-386.
  • Yarbrough, D. B., Shulha, L. M., Hopson, R. K., & Caruthers, F. A. (2011). The program evaluation standards (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Commentary and reflection pages by Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA

  Main • Commentary   Special Foci • Syndicated News | Corruption | Socialism | GuanXi

  Health Related • Traditional Chinese Medicine   Others • OXLL

© 1997-2014 The Commentary, Office of Dr Raymond Cheng. All rights reserved. Copyright of selected news articles, the headlines and logos belongs to the respective entities. Read disclaimer

Digital platform powered by Wyith Limited, Wyith Institute. Wyith Limited and Wyith Institute are associated businesses operated by the Office of Dr Raymond Cheng • Dr Raymond Cheng & Partners Ltd and The Commentary Ltd.

Home  •  About this site  •  How did we once fight corruption in colonial Hong Kong?
 •  Historical US administrative thoughts  •  USA versus colonial Hong Kong
 •  Anti-corruption review of Nigeria  •  Procurement monitoring in Nigeria
 •  Syndicated news  •  Usman's blog  •  Anti-graft news  •  Socialist news

Contact the editor at raymond {dot} cheng {at} kellogg {dot} oxon {dot} org

The RendezvousBuildersCommentatorsContributorsReadersResearchers
Reflection Pages • Miscellaneous Stuff
The difference between instant evaluation and improving recognition – November 20
Freddy Krueger revisited: Politically correct education? – October 23
From the evaluator's perspective: Justified conclusions and decisions – October 8
Online and distance-learning degrees from the evaluator's perspective – September 25
The moment fake degrees turned recognized and appraised – September 9

Photo credits for top title bar, from left to right: Iza H (Work), Lukasz Gumowski (Blue balls), Marcin Bania (Smiling and naked), Lautaro Gonda (Milan station), Jan Abt (Girl taking a picture), Daniel Tang (Hot switch), Barbara Henry (Moriah reading), Ralf Herrmann (Checkmate II), Marko Roeper (Led #4), Ian Russell (Girl in downtown LA).
Note: Animated GIF graphics and clipart obtained from,,, and Sketches, cartoons and other handdrawings courtesy of Alice-the-Artist.

Special Alert! This is *NOT* the American Jewish Committee's Commentary Magazine! Special notice! This is not the American Jewish Committee's Commentary Magazine nor are we in any way affiliated with them. To visit AJC's magazine, please go to instead, thank you for your attention.
Memo with pin Technical memos for members
Receiving using Gmail | Sending using Gmail
0x800ccc0e | 0x800ccc19 | 0x800ccc79

This site is best viewed with Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6.0 or above, minimum 1024x768 16M color-depth resolution. The Commentary Group and its personnel do not endorse external sites and are not responsible for the content of these websites. All external sites will open in a new browser window.

COUNT ON THE STATISTICS  100% Towels (c) Daniel Chittka
Photo © Daniel Chittka

This new section contains some interesting statistics in bribe and corruption, please check back for more as we pile up our numbers!

It's statistics time!  Using n-gram: kickback, graft, bribe and corruption - Comparison of their historical occurrences from 1810 to 2009 A.D.

  The word guanxi (collocation) and meanings of bribe: Deeply rooted, disgusting, sad endings

Looking for a good book (c) Doug Logan
Photo © Doug Logan
tagged by area of interestBY AREA OF INTEREST
Pragmatics: Politeness trends from the historical perspective of global trade
Computer mediated communications: Social network – Came riding the waves of amazing coincidences
Language acquisition:
A critique on "A corpus driven study of the potential for vocabulary learning through watching movies"

Grammatical analysis: "When a linguist stumbled upon a Buttonwood"
Lexicon and the corpus: "John Sinclair's lexical items – an introduction"
tagged by regionBY REGION • Anything AsiaUS Presence in Asia
Communist ChinaNationalist TaiwanHong Kong and MacauJapanKoreaSingaporeMalaysiaPhilippinesPakistanIndiaAfghanistanVietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and MyanmarTimor-Leste and IndonesiaMongoliaNew Zealand and Australia
tagged by topicsBY TOPIC • BiofuelRhino and elephant poachingAmerican movies hit China marketChina Internet censorshipChina's outward FDI opportunitiesGlobal rice yield
Island disputes in Southeast Asia | Senkakus-Diaoyu and historical findings | Dokdo-Takeshima | Spratly, Paracel, Scarborough | Kurils

For those you who don't have time to read all our news excerpts about the Asian island disputes (links above), you may find the following video, "The economic impact of a war between Japan and China", very enlightening.

© Minute MBA: More from

Free Pussy Riot!
Free Pussy Riot!

Photo © Igor Mukhin, retrieved from Wikipedia

"This trial is another example of the Kremlin's attempts to discourage and delegitimize dissent. It is likely to backfire." John Dalhuisen, Director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme

 More from Amnesty InternationalFree Pussy Riot

How it started – Pussy Riot Prayers, February 2012

08/17 Pussy Riot imprisoned on hooliganism charges
08/17 The only professionals in sight
08/19 Pussy Riot protesters arrested in Marseille
08/20 NZ PM – Sentence 'disproportionate'
08/20 Pussy Riot fear their kids being put in care
08/22 German supporters face criminal charges
08/22 Pussy Riot – it's carefully calibrated
08/23 Russian church-state corruption unveiled
08/23 Putin's secret weapon: The Orthodox faithful
08/24 Putin-nominated watchdog slams convictions
08/31 'Pussy Riot ritual killing', man detained
09/03 Orthodox deacon speaks over verdict
09/06 Putin denies part in 'Pussy Riot case'
09/10 Pussy Riot benefit concert draws 1,000
09/10 Gorbachev says verdict "disproportionate"
09/19 Punk group to transfer to remote penal colony
09/21 Aung San calls on Moscow to release RP
10/01 Sentence appeal delayed until Oct 10
10/10 Katya freed, 2 years for Nadya and Masha
10/16 Masha and Nadya sent to remote labor prison

BBC • Pussy Riot women begin life in prison

11/16 Merkel challanges Putin on imprisonment
11/22 Maria Alekhina transferred to solitary cell
11/28 Tolokonnikova's appeal case goes to court
12/24 Extremist videos appeal adjourned

01/15 Masha's sentence deferment denied
02/01 PR civil claim granted right to appeal
02/07 Pussy Riot files complaint with ECHR
03/06 Ombudsman asks court to overturn verdict
03/08 Protesters detained in Moscow
04/13 PR gets reprimand: parole problematic
04/21 PR defense seeks abolition of conviction
07/26 Parole denied, PR remains defiant

The Knife supporting PR at Pukkelpop

08/17 Against verdict on PR – Day of Solidarity
08/23 PR seeks mitigation of remaining sentence
GLUCK ON SOCIALISM AND CHINA Asia (c) Robert Churchill
Photo © Robert Churchill

Professor Sidney Gluck (c) Sandi BachomI am honored to have obtained Professor Sidney Gluck's (right) permission to allow me to repost here some of his work and interview related to China and socialism. Professor Gluck is professor emertius at the New School University in New York. A classical Marxist, Gluck has been studying China for 60 years in history and modern development. He has lectured all over the U.S. and still welcomes engagement at the age of 94 – photo © Sandi Bachom


Usman Khurshid on Mike McCune's HD Monitor with Paths logo with Maartje van Caspel's Public Space
I am proud to announce that the website is now carrying the technology updates from Usman Khurshid's Usman is a network consultant and works in a mixed environment of Windows and Linux platforms. He likes to study about the latest advancements in computer technology and shares his views on his blog.

Click here to read Usman's tech blog
Subscribe to RSS feed
Photo © Usman Khurshid, Mike McCune, Maartje van Caspel
COMING 2014 – COMPUTING CORPUS Active Network Hub (c) Phil Sigin-Lavdanski
Photo © Phil Sigin-Lavdanski

Oh, please do not get me wrong. This new section is not about computers, electronics or any engineering stuff, but rather I am currently constructing a new corpus based on Spectrum, the monthly publication from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers USA, from July 2007 to date. Having been a member for over 20 years since 1992, I am always fascinated by some of the terms scientists use when they talk about or envision their new inventions or methodologies. How many of them eventually come into practice? Could there be some insights we could possibly derive, from the linguistics perspective?


This website is published and designed by
Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA and reflects only his personal views and opinions in his individual capacity. It does not represent the views and opinions of his firm, employer(s), students, etc., and is not in any way sponsored or endorsed by any other thrid parties. Click here to read my full disclaimer

Share on Twitter  Add to Facebook  Share on LinkedIn  +1 on Google