Help Wanted: The Essential Need for Evaluators in Public Policy in a Contradictory Environment


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The need for solid evaluation in American government has never been higher, yet the political climate today puts evaluators in a very difficult position.  With record high federal deficits, depleted state budgets, and an angry electoral base, the need to evaluate government programs and policies is urgent. For example, the success or failure of economic stimulus seems to be determined by political or philosophical perspective rather than sound, evaluative conclusions. Evaluators can provide an invaluable service in assisting decision-makers in determine the merit or worth of various initiatives yet will likely find themselves in the middle of a political tug-of-war. This presentation will explore the role evaluators can and should play in a volatile, and often hostile, political environment and discuss ways that evaluators can provide high value while staying above the fray.

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