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NCJ Number: 51570 Find in a Library
Title: EVALUATION - CURRENT STRENGTHS AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS (FROM EVALUATION OF HUMAN SERVICE PROGRAMS, 1978, BY C CLIFFORD ATTKISSON ET AL - SEE NCJ-51554)
Author(s): C C ATTKISSON; W A HARGREAVES; M J HOROWITZ; J E SORENSEN
Corporate Author: Academic Press, Inc
Promotions Manager
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Academic Press, Inc
San Diego, CA 92101-4495
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN OVERVIEW OF THE STATE OF THE ART IN HUMAN SERVICE PROGRAM EVALUATION ENCOMPASSES FOUR DOMAINS OF EVALUATION (STRUCTURAL, PROCESS, OUTCOME, AND COMMUNITY IMPACT), EVALUATION TOOLS, AND THE ROLE OF THE EVALUATOR.
Abstract: STRUCTURAL OBJECTIVES OFTEN ARE IDENTIFIED IN REGULATIONS GOVERNING PROGRAMS, BUT THE MONITORING OF COMPLIANCE WITH STRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS USUALLY IS HANDLED BY BUSINESS MANAGERS OR PROGRAM ADMINISTRATORS. PROGRAM EVALUATORS INCREASINGLY HAVE BECOME INVOLVED IN EVALUATING STRUCTURAL COMPLIANCE. SUCH ACTIVITIES ARE CONCEIVED BEST AS EXTENSIONS OF TRADITIONAL ACCOUNTING AND ADMINISTRATIVE APPROACHES TO ACCOUNTABILITY AND OFTEN CAN HAVE A POWERFUL IMPACT ON ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND SERVICE CAPACITY. EVALUATIVE EFFORT FREQUENTLY IS DEVOTED PRIMARILY TO PROCESS-MONITORING ACTIVITIES. IN PROCESS MONITORING, THE EVALUATOR PERFORMS TWO FUNCTIONS--IMPROVING THE AGENCY'S INFORMATION PROCEDURES AND EXAMINING PROCESS DATA IN RELATION TO MANAGEMENT ISSUES AND OBJECTIVES--BEYOND THE ROUTINE DATA-GATHERING, STORAGE, AND REPORT GENERATION FUNCTIONS. OUTCOME INFORMATION IS BEING INTRODUCED INTO HUMAN SERVICE MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING, ALTHOUGH OUTCOME STUDIES RARELY CONSUME A LARGE SHARE OF THE EVALUATION EFFORT. ROUTINE OUTCOME MONITORING IS MORE COMMON THAN SPECIFIC, DECISION-ORIENTED OUTCOME STUDIES. EVALUATION OF THE COMMUNITY IMPACT OF PROGRAM IS NEARLY NONEXISTENT. MANY EVALUATION METHODS ARE BEING DEVELOPED IN THE GENERAL AREAS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS, NEED ASSESSMENT, AND OUTCOME EVALUATION. WITH REGARD TO THE ORGANIZATIONAL ROLE OF THE EVALUATOR, THERE APPEARS TO BE A GROWING CONSENSUS THAT EVALUATORS MAKE THEIR MOST EFFECTIVE CONTRIBUTION WHEN THEY PARTICIPATE IN THE DECISIONMAKING PROCESS ON AN ONGOING BASIS. PREDICTIONS CONCERNING THE FUTURE OF PROGRAM EVALUATION SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING GOALS: (1) ROUTINELY EMPLOYING COMPETENT PROGRAM EVALUATORS AT ALL MAJOR FEDERAL, STATE, AND COMMUNITY LEVELS OF HUMAN SERVICE MANAGEMENT; (2) COORDINATING NEED ASSESSMENT AND CLARIFYING SYSTEM OBJECTIVES FOR HUMAN SERVICES ON A REGIONAL BASIS; (3) CLARIFYING OUTCOME AND PROCESS OBJECTIVES FOR EACH COMPONENT OF THE REGIONAL HUMAN SERVICE SYSTEM; (4) MAINTAINING VIGOROUS, MANAGEMENT-RELEVANT MONITORING OF EACH COMPONENT'S ATTAINMENT OF OUTCOME AND PROCESS OBJECTIVES; (5) DEVELOPING BETTER METHODS FOR COMPARING GOAL ATTAINMENT AMONG PROGRAMS; AND (6) DEVELOPING METHODS FOR MONITORING REGIONAL HUMAN SERVICE INTEGRATION AND OTHER SYSTEM PROCESS AND IMPACT OBJECTIVES AND FOR DRAWING COMPARISONS AMONG REGIONS. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Program evaluation; Services
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51570

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