Evaluating local implementation: An evidence-based approach

Tracey Wond, Michael Macaulay

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This article, based on data collected from a year-long study, investigates the evaluation of a UK local government policy implementation and the use of evaluation data as an evidence-base for public policy (Bovaird & Loeffler, 2007; McCoy & Hargie, 2001; Schofield, 2004; Stern, 2008). Our case study highlights a number of issues. First, uncertainty and ambiguity of policy direction inhibiting the establishment of clear evaluation goals, which, second, results in frustration among stakeholders at a perceived disparity between what we term problem-inspired policy and problem-solving policy. Finally, this perception can be compounded by a lack of consideration for local variations of, for example, specific cultures, geographies or historical contexts. In responding to these problems our article argues that regardless of where policy control and decision-making occurs, the importance of the experiences of policy-implementers at a local level (where subject/geographical/cultural specialism and familiarisation exists) is crucial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
JournalPolicy and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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