This topic teaches students about different methods for measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of public policy decisions. Students learn why it is sometimes difficult to measure policy success, and key evaluation techniques that governments use in an attempt to isolate, measure, and quantify the impact of policy actions. This also topic deals with the role of evaluation in the policy cycle.
Topic Learning Outcome: Upon mastering this topic, students will be familiar with key policy evaluation techniques and will be able to make informed decisions about the appropriateness of various evaluation methods for measuring the success of specific public policies.
Core Concepts associated with this Topic: Evaluability; Evaluation Assessment; Evaluation Criteria; Evaluation Products.
Carelton University: PADM-5116
Leslie A. Pal, Beyond Policy Analysis 5th ed. (Toronto: Nelson Education, 2013), chap. 7.
Bovens, Mark, Paul T Hart, and Sanneke Kuipers, "The Politics of Policy Evaluation," in Michael Moran, Martin Rein and Robert E. Goodin, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 319-335.
McLaughlin, John A. and Gretchen B. Jordan, “Using Logic Models,” in Joseph S. Wholey, Harry P. Hatry, and Kathryn E. Newcomer, eds., Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation, 2nd ed., (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004), 7-32.
Auld, A. G., Mallett, A., Burlica, B., Nolan-Poupart, F., & Slater, R. (2014). Evaluating the effects of policy innovations: Lessons from a systematic review of policies promoting low-carbon technology. Global Environmental Change (in press), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.1003.1002.
NYU Wagner: CORE-GP.1022
DeLeon, Peter, and Linda DeLeon. "What ever happened to policy implementation? An alternative approach." Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: J-PART (2002): 467-492.
McLaughlin, Milbrey Wallin. "Learning from experience: Lessons from policy implementation." Educational evaluation and policy analysis 9, no. 2 (1987): 171-178.
Bovens, Mark, Paul T Hart, and Sanneke Kuipers. "The politics of policy evaluation." in The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy, edited by Moran, Michael, Martin Rein, and Robert E. Goodin Pp. 317-333. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
George Washington: PPA-6006
Bardach, Eugene. Practical guide for policy analysis: the eightfold path to more effective problem solving. Sage Publications Inc, 2011. Part I, Step 4.
“Never the twain shall meet: Why do economists and environmental scientists have such a hard time communicating?,” The Economist, http://www.economist.com/node/965655
Principles of Harm Reduction. Harm Reduction Coalition: http://harmreduction.org/about-us/principles-of-harm-reduction/
Burger, Nicholas, Liisa Ecola, and Thomas Light. Evaluating Options for US Greenhouse-Gas Mitigation Using Multiple Criteria. Rand Corporation, 2009. Chapter 3.
Sample Assessment Questions:
1.) What is a logic model? Why are logic models important for policy evaluation and policy success?
2.) What are confounding variables? Explain in one page, using real-world examples why confounding variables can make it difficult to measure policy success.
3.) For-profit enterprises aim to maximize profits, whereas government policies aim to achieve a much wider range of objectives. What unique evaluation challenges does this difference between the two types of organizations present for public sector managers?
4.) What are unintended consequences? How should the possibility of unintended consequences from government actions inform the policy evaluation process?
Page created by Joshua Tan on 18 April 2015; edited by Ben Eisen.