Evaluators need to have a realistic understanding of the context

Evaluators need to have a realistic understanding of the context of evaluations, the political uses of evaluations, and the conditions under which information from evaluations are used to advance stakeholder, agency, and sponsor interests. For this Discussion, consider various public programs and evaluations from this course and your professional experience.

ASSIGNMENT

Post a ONE PAGE explanation of why public programs appear to survive despite having been deemed ineffective. Be sure to address all of the following:

  • Explain reasons for why a program like D.A.R.E. might be different or considered less effective from other public programs.
  • Extend the analogy to least two other federal programs where critics have maintained that few, if any, work.
  • Explain how evaluations, particularly those mandated by legislatures and the executive, should be used.

 

McDavid, J. C., Huse, I., & Hawthorn, L. R. L. (2019). Program evaluation and performance measurement: An introduction to practice (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Chapter 10, “Using Performance Measurement for Accountability and Performance Improvement” (pp. 410-439)
Chapter 11, “Program Evaluation and Program Management” (pp. 446-470)

Birkeland, S., Murphy-Graham, E., & Weiss, C. (2005). Good reasons for ignoring good evaluation: The case of the drug abuse resistance education (D.A.R.E.) program. Evaluation and Program Planning, 28, 247–256.

McDavid, J. C., & Huse, I. (2011). Legislator uses of public performance reports: Findings from a five-year study. American Journal of Evaluation, 33(1), 1–19.

Vanlandingham, G. R. (2010). Escaping the dusty shelf: Legislative evaluation offices’ efforts to promote utilization. American Journal of Evaluation, 32(1), 85–97.

Muhlhausen, D. B. (2011). Evaluating federal social programs: Finding out what works and what does not. Retrieved from https://www.heritage.org/government-regulation/report/evaluating-federal-social-programs-finding-out-what-works-and-what

 

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