Recent developments in policy evaluation have focused on new notions of process and use or, notably, "influence." But this debate among evaluators on how evaluations are used has been essentially a closed one—evaluators talking only among themselves. The debate has gone on seemingly oblivious to fundamental changes in the intellectual landscape of public management, organizational theory, information technology, and knowledge management. New realities demand a different approach toward evaluation. The current era is characterized by the emergence of an increasingly global set of pressures for governments to perform effectively, not just efficiently, and to demonstrate that their performance is producing desired results. Information technology allows enormous quantities of information to be stored, sorted, analyzed, and made available at little or no cost. The result for those in the evaluation community is that, while individual evaluations are still conducted and reported upon, they are a rapidly diminishing source of information. In the new environment, ever accelerating political and organizational demands and expectations are reframing thinking about the definition of what, fundamentally, constitutes evaluation and what we understand as its applications. In this twelfth volume in the Comparative Policy Evaluation series, authors from fourteen nations address these issues from multiple vantage points. From Studies to Streams is an essential tool for policymakers, government officials, and scholars interested in the contemporary status of evaluation.
An effective state is essential to achieving socio-economic and sustainable development. With the advent of globalization, there are growing pressures on governments and organizations around the world to be more responsive to the demands of internal and external stakeholders for good governance, accountability and transparency, greater development effectiveness, and delivery of tangible results. Governments, parliaments, citizens, the private sector, NGOs, civil society, international organizations and donors are among the stakeholders interested in better performance. As demands for greater accountability and real results have increased, there is an attendant need for enhanced results-based monitoring and evaluation of policies, programs, and projects. This Handbook provides a comprehensive ten-step model that will help guide development practitioners through the process of designing and building a results-based monitoring and evaluation system. These steps begin with a 'Readiness Assessment' and take the practitioner through the design, management, and more importantly, the sustainability of such systems. 'Ten Steps to a Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System' describes each step in detail, the tasks needed to complete each one, and the tools available to help along the way.
The basic premise of this book is that the conversation on the future of development needs to shift from a focus on poverty to that of inequality. The poverty emphasis is in an intellectual and political cul de sac. It does not address the fundamental question of why people are poor nor what can be done structurally and institutionally to reduce and eliminate it. The various chapters illustrate in the context of various countries and sectors around the world, the significant contributions that evaluators can make in terms of improvement of the analytical framework, analysis of the performance and results of specific programs and projects, as well as assessing and designing better public management systems in terms of poverty and inequality reduction. Beyond the specific contributions presented, three characteristics characterize those evaluations to be relevant for poverty and inequality analysis: a global-local approach: Global to move beyond disciplinary boundaries and consider cross-cutting issues, local to account for the diversity of countries, sectors, institutions and cultures considered; a problem-solving orientation: The issue evaluated is the core focus and determines the choice of evaluation methods to analyze this issue from a variety of angles; an evolutionary approach: Chapters presented are from iconoclasts who do not have any pre-established theory or school of thought to defend. This is the result of openness of mind and ability to adapt the analytical framework, the evaluation methods, and the interpretation of results in a constant interaction with the stakeholders. Such characteristics make evaluation a domain that can help understand better complex issues like poverty, inequality, vulnerability, and their interactions as well as propose a relevant and useful theory of change for public policies and projects to improve the plight of a large part of the world population in industrialized and developing countries alike.
Now more than ever, policy evaluation is an important component in addressing the worldâs economic crisis. Before it can do so, the discipline must adapt to changing economic and political environments. The contributors address a basic question: What impact do crises have on evaluation and how can evaluation contribute in times of turbulence? Examining the state of evaluation today, the volumeâs editors cover a broad range of topics, including post-hoc evaluation; shifting economic paradigms; the World Bank Groupâs response to the global economic crisis; challenges in evaluating financial literacy; evaluating counter-terrorism programs; evaluation in the context of humanitarian crises; and why civil society organizations in sub-Saharan Africa matter in evaluating poverty interventions. The contributors explore the role of evaluation in the search for solutions to global instability. They recognize, however, that in order to address unprecedented crises, evaluation itself needs to be evaluated and updated as part of the process of change and reform. This volume is the latest in Transactionâs well-respected Comparative Policy Evaluation series.
This festschrift celebrates the accomplishments of renowned social scientist Irving Louis Horowitz as he turned sixty-five. Since Horowitzâs views were global and his discourse was never restricted to national boundaries, the volume includes contributions from across the globe. Collectively, the book represents a personal as well as an intellectual statement from the contributors, as each one was a friend and colleague of Horowitz. The life span of Horowitzâs ideas stretches across boundaries, many which are focused on in The Democratic Imagination. The twenty-seven essays address Horowitzâs work, ideas, and influence. Horowitz was well known for his analysis of the situation in Cuba, disarray in American sociology, the impacts of technology on the publishing industry, and policy-making in the post-Cold-War era. Contributions also take note of Horowitzâs involvement in diverse areas: his work with Robert Kennedy; Radio Marti; the United States General Accounting Office, and his efforts on behalf of the freedom of the press. In a final section, Horowitz responds to each of the contributors. This work, celebrating one of the most esteemed social scientists of the twentieth century, acknowledges his manifold contributions to the multiple areas in which he worked.
The presence of turbulence in multiple areas of our society--food, fuel, and finances-being but three critical areas presently being impacted means that long-held assumptions are no longer true, that the past is not prologue, and that the future is not clear. And enter into this unstable present the discipline of evaluation-a discipline formed and shaped in the past fifty years of stability, little turbulence, and strong assumptions that everything will go according to plan. If things do not go well, it is because of either a poor theory of change on how to bring about positive outcomes, or weak efforts at implementation. It is not because of the stormy present upsetting our quiet past. As it is, conventional evaluation behavior and beliefs are ill suited for these times. The transformational nature of the 'Arab Spring' is just one arena in which it is clear that a business as usual approach to evaluation is entirely inappropriate. The papers in this volume are from the 2011 Global Assembly of the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS). Nearly 350 development evaluators from eighty-five countries came together in Amman, Jordan to discuss and analyze the consequences of turbulence on evaluation. The intent of these papers is to systematically assess what changes have come during this time of turbulence and how these changes are impacting the craft of development evaluation. To be clear: this book is not about how to assess the impacts of crises on development and on people's lives. It is about the meaning of a changed world and changed assumptions on the concepts and methods used in evaluation.