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NCJ Number: 50651 Find in a Library
Title: ACKOFF'S APPROACH TO EVALUATION (FROM INFORMATION AND FEEDBACK FOR EVALUATION, 1975, BY BARRY WILLER ET AL SEE NCJ-50642)
Author(s): E J LARKIN
Corporate Author: York University
Counseling and Development Centre
Canada
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: York University
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M6, Canada
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: AN EVALUATION PROGRAM DESIGNED TO SELECT THE BEST COURSE OF TREATMENT FROM POSSIBLE COURSES IS DESCRIBED AS IT WAS APPLIED TO AN OUTPATIENT ALCOHOL TREATMENT SERVICE.
Abstract: IT IS NOTED THAT THE CURRENT POPULARITY OF THE GOAL SCALING PROCEDURE OF EVALUATION CAN LEAD TO THE BELIEF THAT IT IS SYNONYMOUS WITH EVALUATION, ALTHOUGH THERE ARE OTHER APPROACHES TO EVALUATION APPROPRIATE UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES. IT IS BELIEVED THAT AN EVALUATION MODEL DESCRIBED BY ACKOFF (ACKOFF, GUPTA, AND MINAS, 1962) IS PARTICULARLY APPROPRIATE FOR USE AT THE PROGRAM LEVEL. IT HAS BEEN USED IN THE EVALUATION OF TREATMENT SERVICES OF THE THREE BRANCH CLINICS OF THE ADDICTION RESEARCH FOUNDATION IN TORONTO, CANADA. EVALUATION, ACCORDING TO ACKOFF, INVOLVES THE SELECTION FROM AMONG POSSIBLE COURSE OF ACTION OF THE 'BEST' COURSE TO BE USED IN A PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCE. GENERAL CRITERIA FOR CLASSIFYING THE VALUE OF TREATMENT COURSES ARE AS FOLLOWS: (1) CERTAINTY CONDITIONS, WHEN EACH POSSIBLE ACTION IS KNOWN TO LEAD INVARIABLY TO A SPECIFIC OUTCOME; (2) RISK CONDITIONS, WHEN EACH ACTION LEADS TO ONE OF A SET OF POSSIBLE OUTCOMES, AND EACH OUTCOME OCCURS WITH A KNOWN PROBABILITY; AND (3) UNCERTAINTY CONDITIONS, WHEN EACH ACTION LEADS TO A SET OF POSSIBLE SPECIFIC OUTCOMES, BUT THE PROBABILITY OF EACH IS UNKNOWN. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ACKOFF EVALUATION PLAN FOR AN OUTPATIENT ALCOHOL TREATMENT CENTER IS DESCRIBED. THE PROGRAM ESSENTIALLY INVOLVES THE DEVELOPMENT OF INFORMATION-GATHERING METHODS THAT AID IN MATCHING PATIENT CHARACTERISTICS (UNCONTROLLABLE EVENTS) WITH AN EXISTING TREATMENT METHOD (CONTROLLABLE EVENTS) THAT WILL LEAD TO TREATMENT TERMINATION (DESIRED PRODUCT), WHICH IN THIS PROGRAM WOULD MEAN THE PATIENT'S IMPROVED CONDITION SUFFICIENT TO RENDER CONTINUED TREATMENT UNNECESSARY. PROCEDURES FOR GATHERING THE NEEDED INFORMATION ARE DESCRIBED, AND SAMPLES OF THE FORMS USED ARE PROVIDED. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT, DESPITE THE NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT IN THE APPLICATION DISCUSSED, THE ACKOFF MODEL OF EVALUATION IS APPROPRIATE FOR MOST HUMAN SERVICE PROGRAMS. REFERENCES ARE ALSO INCLUDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Alcoholics; Canada; Decisionmaking; Evaluation; Evaluation techniques; Planning; Program evaluation; Records; Services; Treatment
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50651

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