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NCJ Number: 51229 Find in a Library
Title: ON THE RECONCILIATION OF QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE ANALYSES - A REFERENCE TO A CASE EXAMPLE
Author(s): M G TREND
Corporate Author: Abt Associates, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Abt Associates, Inc
Cambridge, MA 02138
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: INITIAL APPARENT CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE QUALITATIVE DATA PROVIDED BY AN OBSERVER OF A HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT PROJECT AND THE OUTCOME QUANTITATIVE DATA ARE DISCUSSED AND LESSONS DRAWN.
Abstract: THE CASE STUDY IS OF A PROJECT UNDERTAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN 1972, WHICH PROVIDED THAT LOW-INCOME FAMILIES RECEIVE DIRECT CASH PAYMENTS TO AID IN THE PURCHASE OF ADEQUATE HOUSING. MEASUREMENTS OF THE PROGRAM'S OPERATION INCLUDED OBSERVATION OF PROCESS DYNAMICS AND FUNCTIONING BY TRAINED OBSERVERS AT EACH OFFICE SITE AND MEASUREMENTS OF NUMBER OF FAMILIES ENROLLED IN THE PROGRAM, TYPE OF HOUSING SECURED, AND THE COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF STAFF OPERATIONS AT EACH SITE. THE REPORTS FROM THESE TWO SOURCES OF EVALUATION, QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE, ARE CONSIDERED FOR ONE SITE WHERE THE DATA PROVIDED WERE IN APPARENT CONTRADICTION. THE OBSERVER REPORTED STAFF HOSTILITY TOWARD THE CONTRACTING AGENCY MANAGEMENT AS A RESULT OF PRESSURES TO ENROLL A QUOTA OF FAMILIES WITHOUT REGARD TO TIME CONSUMING ATTENTION TO AIDING FAMILIES IN FINDING QUALITY HOUSING. AFTER THE QUOTA WAS REACHED, MANY OF THE SITE STAFF RESIGNED BEFORE THE TERMINATION OF THE CONTRACT PERIOD. WHILE THE OBSERVER REPORTED THIS STAFF CONFLICT AND CONCERN WITH SHODDY SUPPORT SERVICES, THE MEASUREMENT OF OUTCOME SHOWED THAT THE SITE PROGRAM HAD ACHIEVED ITS GOALS REGARDING NUMBER OF FAMILIES PLACED IN A COST-EFFECTIVE MANNER. DATA ALSO SHOWED THAT CLIENTS FROM THE SITE UNDER CONSIDERATION ENJOYED AN IMPROVEMENT IN HOUSING. THE PROCEDURE USED TO RESOLVE THE APPARENT CONFLICT BETWEEN THE QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DATA IS DESCRIBED. IT IS INDICATED THAT WHILE STAFF PROCEDURES, VISIBLY LACKING IN ATTENTION TO SOME OF THE CLIENTS' NEEDS IN ORDER TO MEET QUOTAS, ENGENDERED SOME DISSATISFACTION AMONG STAFF PREDOMINANTLY ORIENTED TOWARD PROVIDING SOCIAL SERVICES, THE CAUSE AND EFFECT INTERACTIONS IN THE OVERALL SITE OPERATIONS PROVIDED A GOOD REPORT IN THE AREA OF HARD DATA ON OUTCOME. FROM THIS EXPERIENCE, IT IS ADVISED THAT ALL EVALUATION DATA SHOULD BE ASSUMED VALID, EVEN WHEN APPARENTLY CONTRADICTORY, WITH EFFORTS DEVOTED TOWARD CONSTRUCTING FREQUENTLY ELUSIVE EXPLANATIONS OF PROGRAM OPERATION THAT WILL RESOLVE THE APPARENT CONFLICT IN DATA RESULTS. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Evaluation; Evaluation of evaluation; Evaluation techniques; Testing and measurement
Note: PAPER PRESENTED IN THE SYMPOSIUM, 'POLICY RESEARCH AND EVALUATION - CONTRACTS, GRANTS, PRACTITIONERS AND CONSUMERS' 37TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY FOR APPLIED ANTHROPOLOGY, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, APRIL 6-9, 1977
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51229

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