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 et al. 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...
- Cicarelli, V. G., et al. (1969). The impact of head start. Athens, OH: Westinghouse Learning Corporation and Ohio University.Google Scholar
- Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (1979). Quasi-experimentation: Design and analysis issues for field settings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Kelling, G. L., et al. (1974). The Kansas city preventive patrol experiment: Summary report. Washington, DC: The Police Foundation.Google Scholar
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- Struyk, R. J., & Bendick, M., Jr. (1981). Housing vouchers for the poor: Lessons from a national experiment. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.Google Scholar