Evaluation: Cases

This page provides examples of policy evaluation to support the evaluation home page. Two main divisions are offered: USA domestic policy and sustainable development. A listing of examples of policy evaluation is also provided.

Listing of examples of evaluation

Evaluation is all around us and you should recognize it when you see it. Consider it, but critically assess what you hear and see. Here are some examples of evaluation:

USA Policy

Middle States Review

Every ten years, all institutions of higher education in the northeast USA must be closely scrutinized by a board of professional administrators outside the college of university under assessment.

Head Start

The Reagan administration, no friend to even family-oriented social policy, attempted to besmirch the credibility of a program began in the [Nixon administration] which provided pre-school education to poor children, and an opportunity to work for the parents, often the mother, of the children. The program had earned a reputation for effective service delivery and overall workable policy design.

The Reagan evaluators were, from the beginning, politicized, bringing a policy conclusion to their work as a premise: The program was ineffective, wasteful, and should be terminated. The biased study, which was supported by taxpayer money, was itself scrutinized, and discovered to have biased premises, thus nullified as a reliable policy evaluation.

Rural Electrification Administration (REA)

This popular infrastructure program of the New Deal brought low-cost electric power to rural America, probably one of the most valued programs ever accomplished by government. The program, however, went on well after the job of rural electrification was completed.

The popular television muckraking show, 60 Minutes, did a segment investigating the role of the REA, suggesting that its diversification into such activities as cable television strayed from the original mission of the REA and that the REA should be terminated. That step has never been taken.

Sustainable Development

This section contains cases of sustainable development, from national policy within the USA to international instances.

USA Policy

Sustainability has not been made explicit as a criterion by which policies and programs are to be assessed. However, evaluation might do so, and this is a good use of evaluation. Let's take a look.

Sustainability Criteria Applied

A significant point of departure for getting sustainable development on the policy agenda is to assess existing policies and programs as to sustainability criteria. For example, does the Small Business Administration loan policy consider whether the firms involved take advantage of existing recycling opportunities, thus cutting down the cost of waste disposal and ignoring potential markets for throughputs? (Providing illustrations and models of successful green businesses elsewhere might stimulate new avenues of sustainable development.)

To monitor global climate change, the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has been established by the United Nations Environmental Program and the United Nations Development Program. The GEF is funded by the World Bank, receiving over a billion dollars per year for research on global dynamics (Susskind 95).

The Public Policy Cycle Web Site | Page: © Wayne Hayes, Ph.D. | ™ ProfWork | whayes@ramapo.edu
Initialized: November 10, 2002 | Last Update: 11/16/2009