Program evaluation is not about mathematical programming, but about assessing the performance of social programs and policies. Does capital punishment deter homicide? Which job training programs are worthy of government support? How can emergency medical services be delivered more effectively? What are the social benefits of energy conservation programs? These are the types of questions considered in program evaluation.
Notable evaluations include the Westinghouse evaluation of the Head Start early childhood program (Cicarelli, 1969), the Housing Allowance experiment (Struyk and Bendick, 1981), the Kansas City preventive patrol experiment (Kelling et al., 1974), and evaluation of the New Haven needle exchange program for preventing HIV transmission among injecting drug users (Kaplan and O'Keefe, 1993). As these examples suggest, questions and issues deserving serious evaluation often are in the forefront of social policy debates in areas such as public housing, health services,...
- Cicarelli, V.G., et al. (1969). The Impact of Head Start. Westinghouse Learning Corporation and Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.Google Scholar
- Cook, T.D. and Campbell, D.T. (1979). Quasi-Experimentation: Design and Analysis Issues for Field Settings. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.Google Scholar
- Kaplan, E.H. and O'Keefe, E. (1993). “Let the Needles Do the Talking! Evaluating the New Haven Needle Exchange,” Interfaces 23, 7–26.Google Scholar
- Kelling, G.L., et al. (1974). The Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment: Summary Report. The Police Foundation, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
- Larson, R.C. (1975). “What happened to patrol operations in Kansas City? A review of the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment,” Jl. Criminal Justice 3, 267–297.Google Scholar
- Larson, R.C. and Kaplan, E.H. (1981). “Decision-Oriented Approaches to Program Evaluation,” New Directions for Program Evaluation 10, 49–68.Google Scholar
- Rossi, P.H. and Freeman, H.E. (1993). Evaluation: A Systematic Approach, 5th ed. Sage Publications, New-bury Park, California.Google Scholar
- Struyk, R.J. and Bendick, M., Jr. (1981). Housing Vouchers for the Poor: Lessons from a National Experiment. Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar