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Volume 16, 2001 - Spring

Addressing Attribution Through Contribution Analysis: Using Performance Measures Sensibly

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Pages :
1-24

The changing culture of public administration involves accountability for results and outcomes. This article suggests that performance measurement can address such attribution questions. Contribution analysis has a major role to play in helping managers, researchers, and policymakers to arrive at conclusions about the contribution their program has made to particular outcomes. The article describes the steps necessary to produce a credible contribution story.

The Strong Focus On Output Information: A Threat To Evaluation In The Swedish State Sector?

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Pages :
25-41

This article discusses the issue of combining different kinds of results information for decision-making in the public sector. Its purpose is to take part in the debate on public management and management by results, by arguing that the trend in public management is a focus on information about outputs and a decreasing interest in information about outcomes. Since the mid-1980s there has been an obvious drop in the interest in results information in the public sector in Sweden and in many other countries (those within the OECD for instance). The favoured concept for the state sector in Sweden is management by results. Ministries and agencies have developed skills to measure not only costs, but also quality and performance. It is easy to believe that this development also should stimulate the development of evaluations of outcomes and in-depth analyses, as these evaluations are important to the concept of management by results. However, we argue that simpler and more focused follow-up information has increased and so also has interest in such information. In short, interest in information about outputs has increased at the expense of interest in information about outcomes. This threatens to diminish the future role of evaluation.

La participation des femmes de milieux écquement faibles aux services prénatals: essai de modélisation

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Pages :
43-63

A number of studies have identified the importance of prenatal services in pregnancy progress and outcome both for mother and child. In fact, such services can reduce the risk of fetal mortality during pregnancy and infant mortality during birth and help reduce the risk of complications during delivery, particularly when they begin in the first trimester of the pregnancy and continue until delivery. Although this is a widely recognized fact, many women in poor ecc environments do not receive prenatal services. Until now, studies on women's participation in prenatal services have mainly dealt with an analysis of participant characteristics and service accessibility. This study goes beyond socio-demographic, psychosocial, and organizational determinants to examine the underlying rationale for disadvantaged women's decision to use prenatal services.

Participant Commitment To The Principles Taught In A Workplace Leadership Seminar In Relation To Personality Type

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Pages :
65-78

This study was conducted as part of a leadership seminar offered to the managers of a North American corporation. It describes the development of a custom-designed self-report outcome measure administered in an interview format, and the use of a personality type inventory. The results indicate that there are significant relationships between personality type and reported training outcomes. Participants inclined toward introspection and non-linear problem-solving reported greater commitment to the content of the values-based leadership seminar than did those with personality preferences for deductive reasoning and concrete problem-solving. The approach used in this study to the measurement of training outcomes and the inclusion of personality type as a measure of participant characteristics has potential implications for program evaluators.

The Politics And Practice Of Empowerment Evaluation And Social Interventions: Lessons From The Atlantic Community Action Program For Children Regional Evaluation

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Pages :
79-98

Empowerment or participatory evaluation has gained significant popularity in the last few years. However, there is considerable variation in the manner in which the terms are used and in the politics that underlie and inform such practices. This article, which reflects upon the authors' collective experience with the Atlantic Community Action Program for Children (CAPC) regional evaluation, argues for empowerment-oriented evaluation strategies informed by emancipatory politics. In particular, the authors examine the implications an emancipatory ethic has for their understanding of the terms participatory, empowerment, and social change within the context of evaluation research.

An Evaluation Framework For The Maison Decision House Substance Abuse Treatment Program

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Pages :
99-129

An evaluation framework was prepared for Maison Decision House (MDH) to guide its future examination of the success of its substance abuse treatment program. MDH is a halfway house accommodating substance-abusing male federal offenders. This residential intervention is based on a cognitive-behavioral model and has incorporated specific program activities to achieve the ultimate objective of lifelong abstinence. The first section of this framework is a program profile containing background information on the program as well as an outline of its elements and structure in conjunction with a logic model. The next section focuses on the evaluation questions and issues relevant to this substance abuse program, describes the issues and indicators matrix, and summarizes various evaluation methodologies. The framework concludes with a presentation of three evaluation options, with a recommendation as to the most advantageous option.