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Eval11 Session 276: Addressing the Public Policy Evaluation Imbalance: A Realistic Approach 

11-14-2011 15:07

This panel session makes the case that evaluation in the public policy domain is out of balance and has been largely irrelevant, favoring usually small discretionary expenditures as evaluands over bigger and more important mechanisms of policy. This in turn has created a systemic bias in terms of not just what gets evaluated, but what types of evaluation approaches are deemed to be acceptable. The panelists will argue that part of the current malaise or imbalance which faces evaluation, dangerously leaving the review field over to theoreticians, auditors and score carders, has been self inflicted and that it is time for evaluators to drop some of their sacred cows and to get into the (public policy) game (Shepherd 2011). Some of the key 'new' principles to be discussed will be the idea of relevance before rigor, focusing on a few basic issues related to need, success and cost-effectiveness (alternatives), open discussion of theories of change and implementation, a realist approach to study design, data collection, knowledge accumulation and reporting - combined with a high engagement approach. Both Robert Shepherd and Steve Montague's presentations are included in the materials available for download.

#2011Conference #GovernmentEvaluation

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AEA Realist Presentation1.pdf   472 KB   1 version
Uploaded - 11-14-2011