skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 51600 Find in a Library
Title: INFLUENCE OF EXTERNAL POLITICAL FACTORS ON THE ROLE AND METHODOLOGY OF EVALUATION (FROM EVALUATION STUDIES REVIEW ANNUAL, V 3, 1978, BY THOMAS D COOK ET AL - SEE NCJ-51598)
Author(s): H M BRICKELL
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: EXTERNAL POLITICAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE ROLE AND METHODOLOGY OF EVALUATION ARE EXPLORED, AND 10 EXAMPLES OF POLITICAL INFLUENCE IN EVALUATION ARE CITED.
Abstract: CLIENTS OF NONPROFIT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS INVOLVED IN EVALUATION ARE FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. THE MOTIVES OF GOVERNMENTS IN HIRING THESE INSTITUTIONS ARE POLITICAL. BECAUSE THE ATTAINMENT OF POWER IS A PROMINENT ASPECT OF LIFE WITHIN AN INSTITUTION AS WELL AS BETWEEN INSTITUTIONS, INTERNAL EVALUATION STAFF MEMBERS ARE JUST AS SUBJECT TO POLITICAL INFLUENCES AS EXTERNAL EVALUATION STAFF MEMBERS. IN SOME CASES, POLITICAL FORCES CONTROL THE POPULATION SAMPLED AND LIMIT THE DATA GATHERED. POLITICAL FORCES ALSO INFLUENCE EVALUATION DESIGNS USED, GUIDE INTERPRETATIONS OF EVALUATION FINDINGS, AND SHAPE RECOMMENDATIONS. FIVE RULES TO AID IN AVOIDING THE INFLUENCE OF EXTERNAL POLITICAL FACTORS ARE OFFERED: (1) DO NOT WORK FOR ANYONE WHO IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROJECT BEING EVALUATED; (2) EMPLOY THE SAME OBJECTIVITY THAT WOULD BE USED IN CONDUCTING A RESEARCH STUDY; (3) REPORT FINDINGS IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY HAVE NO IMPLICATIONS; (4) DO NOT WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND TRY NOT TO WORK FOR PHILANTHROPIC FOUNDATIONS; AND (5) BE INDEPENDENTLY WEALTHY. BECAUSE THESE RULES ARE IMPRACTICAL, HOWEVER, IT IS FURTHER SUGGESTED THAT CERTAIN PROCEDURES BE FOLLOWED TO MAKE THE BEST OF THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT: (1) TRY TO UNDERSTAND HOW A CLIENT THINKS; (2) REASSURE A CLIENT AT THE OUTSET OF EVALUATION THAT FINDINGS CAN BE INTERPRETED TO GIVE HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS FOR PROGRAM IMPROVEMENT; (5) FIND OUT WHAT POWERFUL DECISIONMAKERS WILL ACTUALLY USE AS CRITERIA FOR JUDGING THE SUCCESS OF A PROGRAM; (4) TRY TO GET A SUPERVISORY MECHANISM ESTABLISHED FOR THE EVALUATION CONTRACT THAT CONTAINS A CROSS-SECTION OF ALL POWERFUL DECISIONMAKERS; AND (5) WRITE THE EVALUATION REPORT CAREFULLY. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Evaluation; Evaluation techniques; Federal government; Grants or contracts; Local government; Political influences; State government
Note: REPRINTED FROM EVALUATION COMMENT, V 1, N 6 (DECEMBER 1976)
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51600

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.