Evaluation and implementation: Two regeneration programmes

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    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss different approaches to evaluation taken in the case of two regeneration programmes in England and Wales and identify how assumptions about the nature of policy and programme implementation affect evaluation and considerations of its use in the public sector.

    Design/methodology/approach: Using an analysis of evaluation reports relating to two regeneration programmes, a distinction is drawn between two approaches to evaluation. This distinction is then articulated further with reference to differing perspectives in policy implementation studies. Related issues of policy and programme success and failure are discussed, in addition to the potential for policy learning.

    Findings: There is a difference between the two approaches to evaluation employed in the two cases, which is likely to reflect contrasting beliefs about the nature and process of implementation. Implementation research indicates that while a process of evaluating progress against a set of specific objectives clearly has legitimacy in a public sector environment, it is likely to be inconclusive or even counterproductive. This is due to the inevitability of policy evolution, the multiple reformations of policy at the micro level, and the constraints engendered by norms of appropriacy in the wider policy environment.

    Originality/value: This article suggests how ongoing debates in implementation studies can inform and illuminate decisions made about approaches to evaluation. The dynamic between conceptions of implementation and the purpose of evaluation is illustrated through a comparison of the use of evaluation in two regeneration programmes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)298-308
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of Public Sector Management
    Volume26
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2013

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