Evaluation closes the loop of the public policy cycle. Thus, evaluation reflects back upon policy formulation as well as implementation, but points forward to the next round of the cycle, returning to the agenda setting stage.
Evaluation, when done effectively, professionally, and honestly, stands above the fray of public policy. More likely, however, a thorough, objective, scientific assessment of public policy will not happen. When it does, due to political as well as epistemological limitations, the results are not guaranteed to be completely certain, but still can be suggestive. Yet decisions, once again under uncertainty, must be made. Here are just some of the questions which might be considered within the framework of the cycle:
Given what is known, or whatever impression has been made, what should be done next? This cycles back to agenda, closing the loop of the public policy cycle.
The Public Policy Web
©by Wayne Hayes, Ph.D., ®ProfWork, November 10, 2002
November 10, 2002