The Holistic Perspective in the Evaluation of Public Programs: A Conceptual Framework

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Public programs should be considered as components of the overall societal welfare system in which social, ecc, political, and biophysical factors interact. Evaluation of the effectiveness of public programs should recognize that they are an integral part of the overall societal welfare system. Evaluating programs as individual entities with specific objectives is not likely to yield information of critical importance to public decision-makers. With the continuing fiscal restraints, there is a need for strategic information on the overall performance of public programs. Existing techniques for broadening the focus of evaluations are not sufficient. This article discusses a holistic approach for evaluating public programs and examines a national performance databank for managing the results of such evaluations.

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