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NCJ Number: 50596 Find in a Library
Title: EVALUATION IN ALCOHOL, DRUG ABUSE, AND MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS - PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS (FROM PROGRAM EVALUATION - ALCOHOL, DRUG ABUSE, AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, 1975, BY JACK ZUSMAN ET AL - SEE NCJ-50594)
Author(s): D MECHANIC
Corporate Author: D C Heath and Co
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: D C Heath and Co
Lexington, MA 02173
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE IMPORTANCE OF EVALUATION IN ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL PROGRAMS, PARTICULARLY IN THE FIELDS OF ALCOHOL, DRUG ABUSE, AND MENTAL HEALTH, AND ASSOCIATED PROBLEMS IN EVALUATION ARE CONSIDERED.
Abstract: THE CONCEPT OF EVALUATION IS BEING NARROWED TO DESCRIBE THE ASSESSMENT OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF PROGRAMS TARGETED TOWARD SPECIFIC SOCIAL GOALS BY MEANS OF SOPHISTICATED METHODOLOGIES EMPLOYED TO STUDY SPECIFIC INTERVENTIONS. PREFERENCE IS INDICATED, HOWEVER, FOR THE WIDER MEANING OF THE CONCEPT OF EVALUATION TO DESIGNATE THE BROAD SCOPE OF EFFORTS THAT ADMINISTRATORS AND OTHERS ENGAGE IN TO DETERMINE EFFECTIVENESS IN REACHING GOALS. EVALUATION THUS RANGES FROM THE QUALITATIVE MEASUREMENT OF HOW ADEQUATELY AN AGENCY BALANCES ITS COMMITMENTS WITH RESPECT TO A VARIETY OF COMPETING GOALS TO LARGE-SCALE SOCIAL EXPERIMENTS DESIGNED TO ASSESS THE RELATIVE IMPACTS OF DIFFERENT POLICY INTERVENTIONS ON A VARIETY OF CRITICAL INDICATORS. AS AN INCLUSIVE CONCEPT, EVALUATION ENCOMPASSES ORGANIZATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, MONITORING, THE USE OF SOCIAL INDICATORS, DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS, AND APPLIED SOCIAL RESEARCH. AN IMPORTANT SOURCE OF RESISTANCE TO EVALUATION STEMS FROM THE FACT THAT ORGANIZATIONAL PERSONNEL ARE COMMITTED PROFESSIONALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY TO THE INTERVENTIONS THEY PROMOTE. ANOTHER SIGNIFICANT DIFFICULTY IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF EVALUATION EFFORTS IS INHERENT IN THE THREAT THEY POSE UNDER CONDITIONS WHERE PROGRAM SUPPORT AND SURVIVAL ARE SUBSTANTIALLY PART OF THE POLITICAL PROCESS. THE FIRST REQUIREMENT FOR EVALUATION IS THAT GOALS AND EXPECTED IMPACTS OF PROGRAM INTERVENTIONS BE FORMULATED AS EXPLICITLY AS POSSIBLE. CONTROLLED TRIALS AND SOCIAL EXPERIMENTS ARE MOST FEASIBLE WHEN THE ISSUE CONCERNS THE IMPACT OF A SPECIFIED INTERVENTION WITHIN A RELATIVELY NARROW PERIOD OF TIME, IN CONTRAST TO A COMPLEX SET OF INTERVENTIONS DIRECTED TOWARD A VARIETY OF GOALS. MONITORING IS A USEFUL DEVICE TO OBTAIN FEEDBACK IN SITUATIONS WHERE PROGRAMS HAVE MULTIPLE GOALS. THE ISSUE OF WHETHER A PARTICULAR INTERVENTION SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTS OUTCOME IS IMPORTANT, BUT A RELATED ISSUE CONCERNS THE EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF A SUCCESSFUL INTERVENTION. SELF-IMPROVEMENT THROUGH EDUCATION ON THE PART OF EVALUATORS AS A MEANS OF ENHANCING PERFORMANCE IS ESSENTIAL. EFFECTS OF EVALUATION ARE LIKELY TO BE INFLUENTIAL IF EVALUATION IS VIEWED AS PART OF THE PROCESS OF EDUCATION RATHER THAN AS A POLICING OR REGULATORY FUNCTION. NOTES ARE INCLUDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Alcoholism; Drug abuse; Evaluation; Evaluative research; Mental health; Objectives; Program evaluation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50596

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