"Can we find out what
Before 1970, there was a sparse literature on the subject of policy evaluation. Then came an explosion, with a tilt toward evaluating the spate of Great Society programs spawned in the late 1960s under President Lyndon Johnson. Has evaluation research produced results which have fundamentally changed, perhaps improved, public policy making? Probably not, another loss for the proponents of the rational model.
Careful evaluation of policies is rarely utilized to improve, or terminate, public policies. The potential for bias requires that evaluation be approached critically. Still, despite drawbacks and the intrusion of political prejudice, evaluation methods are important, occasionally strategic, for effective public policy making.
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Initialized: May 22, 2001 | Last Update: November 21, 2003