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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 48470 Find in a Library
Title: EVALUATION - WHEN IS IT REALLY NEEDED?
Journal: EVALUATION  Volume:2  Issue:2  Dated:(1975)  Pages:89-93
Author(s): J S WHOLEY; J N NAY; J W SCANLON; R E SCHMIDT
Corporate Author: Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, Inc
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: SIMPLE APPROACHES TO EVALUATION ARE DESCRIBED WHICH MEASURE THE ACTUAL NEED FOR EVALUATION WHILE PROVIDING POLICYMAKERS AND PROGRAM MANAGERS WITH SEQUENTIALLY INCREASING LEVELS OF RELIABLE PROGRAM INFORMATION.
Abstract: SEVERAL ASPECTS OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS WORK AGAINST THE FEASIBILITY OF EVALUATION: FEDERAL PROGRAMS FREQUENTLY LACK OR HAVE ONLY POORLY DEFINED OBJECTIVES, SUFFICIENT MANPOWER AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES TO MEET OBJECTIVES ARE OFTEN LACKING, THERE IS FREQUENT AMBIGUITY ABOUT WHAT CONSTITUTES SUCCESS, TESTABLE ASSUMPTIONS AND MEANS OF MEASUREMENT ARE LACKING IN MANY AREAS, AND THE FEDERAL ENVIRONMENT TENDS TO BE UNSTABLE. CONSEQUENTLY, AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO EVALUATION IS REQUIRED FOR FEDERAL LEVEL PROGRAMS. A PROPOSED EVALUATION MODEL FOR SUCH PROGRAMS WOULD INVOLVE EVALUATION OF PROGRAM EVALUABILITY, RAPID FEEDBACK, AND PERFORMANCE MONITORING. THE EVALUABILITY EVALUATION REQUIRES AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PROGRAM'S MANAGEMENT STATUS AND THE FEASIBILITY AND UTILITY OF PROGRAM EVALUATION. THIS REQUIRES DEFINING THE PROGRAM, COLLECTING PROGRAM INFORMATION, DEVELOPING A PROGRAM DESCRIPTION THAT ENCOMPASSES PROGRAM OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES, ANALYZING THE DESCRIPTION AND FORMULATING AN EVALUABLE PROGRAM MODEL, AND PRESENTING THE RESULTS TO MANAGEMENT. ONCE THERE IS AN AGREEMENT ON AN EVALUABLE MODEL OF THE PROGRAM, A RAPID FEEDBACK PROCESS SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN TO ASSESS ACTUAL PROGRAM PERFORMANCE BASED ON OBTAINABLE INFORMATION AND TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY AND COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF MORE DETAILED PROGRAM EVALUATION. RAPID FEEDBACK MAY ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR MORE EXPENSIVE EVALUATION BY PRODUCING INFORMATION WHICH SATISFIES MANAGEMENT NEEDS. PERFORMANCE MONITORING IS OFTEN BOTH FEASIBLE AND USEFUL IN AN EVALUABILITY EVALUATION. PERFORMANCE MONITORING MAKES AVAILABLE TO THE MANAGER INFORMATION WHICH COMPARES ACTUAL PROGRAM PERFORMANCE WITH SOME RELATIVE OR ABSOLUTE STANDARD OF EXPECTED PROGRAM PERFORMANCE. IT PROVIDES MANAGEMENT WITH EASILY DIGESTED INFORMATION ON RESOURCE EXPENDITURE, ACTIVITY IMPLEMENTATION, AND ACHIEVEMENT OF OBJECTIVES. MAJOR COMPONENTS NECESSARY TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF A PROGRAM MONITORING SYSTEM SUCH AS THE ONE DESCRIBED INCLUDE: ESTABLISHMENT OF MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT ON ACTIVITIES AND OBJECTIVES TO BE MONITORED; DEVELOPMENT OF PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING THE TYPE AND QUALITY OF INFORMATION DESIRED; AND ASSURING UTILIZATION OF THE MONITORING SYSTEM PRODUCED. RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE MONITORING SYSTEMS MIGHT INCLUDE TELEPHONE SURVEYS, SIGNALLING SYSTEMS, OR COMPARISONS OF PLANNED VERSUS ACTUAL PROGRAM PERFORMANCE. (JAP)
Index Term(s): Cost effectiveness analysis; Decisionmaking; Evaluation; Evaluation of evaluation; Evaluation techniques; Federal programs; Governmental planning; Management; Policy; Program evaluation
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48470

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