Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Policy evaluation concerns the estimation of the effectiveness of public policies, programs, or projects and their management and implementation. Because policy is about change, policy evaluation should explain what factors or determinants led citizens or groups to do things or take actions that otherwise they would not do (e.g., quit smoking, recycle products, practice sustainable behavior, end domestic violence, retain students in school, attract investments, reduce unemployment). To implement such policies, governments have created programs with specific achievement goals. The role of policy evaluators is to give educated estimates of the effects of changes in government policies. From a public administration perspective, program evaluation is a scientific activity that entails the use of scientific methods to measure the outputs, implementation, and outcomes of programs for decision-making purposes. But beyond all this, the key question in policy evaluation is the following: What does government do to improve the quality of life ...