Evaluation research findings should be a key element of the policy-making process, yet in reality they are often disregarded. This valuable book examines the development of evaluation and its impact on public policy by analysing evaluation frameworks and criteria which are available when evaluating public policies and services. It further examines the nature of evidence and its use and non-use by decision-makers and assesses the work of influential academics in the USA and UK in the context of evaluation and policy making. The book emphasises the 'real world' of decision-makers in the public sector and recognises how political demands and economic pressures can affect the decisions of those who commission evaluation research while providing recommendations for policymakers on adopting a different approach to evaluation. This is essential reading for under-graduate and post-graduate students of policy analysis and public sector management, and those who are involved in the planning and evaluation of public policies and services.
"provides a careful, comprehensive and detailed history of the field...targeted at policy and public sector management students, academics and practioners" People, Place and Policy (2014)
"In an era of resource constraint the case for improving the way public policy is evaluated gains weight. This wide-ranging book provides an in depth analysis of alternative approaches to evaluation that will be of great interest to both scholars and policy makers." Robin Hambleton, Professor of City Leadership, University of the West of England, Bristol
"This book provides a critical and long overdue analysis of the contribution of decades of evaluation research to policy making. The text is concise, comprehensive, objective and eminently readable." Philip Jacobs, University of Alberta and the Institute of Health Economics, Canada
Colin Palfrey has worked in local government and taught in UK universities and abroad. He is currently Research Officer in the National Assembly for Wales. Paul Thomas is Honorary Research Fellow at Swansea University; he has worked in local government and several universities and has been undertaking evaluations for more than 30 years. Ceri Phillips is Professor of Health Economics at Swansea University Centre for Health Economics and Head of Research at Swansea University's College of Human and Health Sciences
Evaluation in the political and academic worlds; What is meant by evaluation?; Designing evaluations; Selecting evaluation criteria; Developments in economic evaluation; The impact of evaluation on decision making; The future for evaluation; Concluding thoughts.