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Policy Evaluation
Policy evaluation simply refers to as a proper
examination of the consequences of the policy being
The major aims in policy evaluation is:
a) to determine the consequences of policy.
(that is to examine the impact of the implemented

b) the second thing is to judge the success or
failure of the policy according to a set of
standards or criteria.
Based on the second task, some policy analysts
have defined policy evaluation as the use of
scientific method to estimate the successful
implementation and resultant outcomes of
policy program in meeting its objectives set

Policy evaluation involves the estimation,

appraisal, or assessment of policy:

Its content
Goal attainment and
Other effects

Policy evaluation seek to identify factors that

contributed to the success or failure of a policy.
This in turn may lead to recycling of the policy
As a functional activity, evaluation can occur at
any point in the policy process, not simply after
some effort has been made to implement a

Types of Policy Evaluation

There are 3 types of policy evaluation.
a) process evaluation
b) impact evaluation
c) meta-evaluation
Process evaluation: focuses on the means by
which a policy program is delivered or the
way in which a policy is implemented

Process Evaluation
It focuses on the means by which a policy
program is delivered or the way in which a policy
is implemented
The assessment is focused on the activities and
peoples satisfaction with the policy approach.

Impact Evaluation
the evaluation here is concerned with the endresult of a policy program.
It focuses on the outputs to see whether the
policy meets the objectives or not.

Meta Evaluation

based on the synthesis of the results from different studies

on the policy program.
Meta-evaluation draws out the commonalities of results
from various studies and synthesizes them together.


Generally, evaluation can be done at stages of policy

implementation as a functional activity.
They use high power of statistical and mathematical
techniques for evaluation of policy.


Some evaluations, therefore, may take a form of

experimental design, quasi-experimental design or before
and after study method.

Problems with Policy Evaluation

There are many problems associated with policy
(a) Uncertainty over policy goals: many policy
objectives are diffused in nature and why?
This is because officials in different positions in the policy
system may define the goals differently.

Hence, it is difficult to evaluate such policy.
(b) Difficulty in determining causality: more often, it is
difficult to attach the change in one situation to certain
causes, reasons, and factors.

That is, it is not always that change in problem A
is caused by change in factor B or factor C.
So change in B or C may not necessarily lead to
change in A.
For example, compliance with traffic policy law
may not due to fines against violator. It may be
because of the citizens loyalty and belief in
obedience to his countrys regulatory policy.

Diffuse Policy Impacts: This refers to a situation in

which policy may produce effect on other things rather

than the targeted groups.
For example, the welfare policy may produce effects not
only on poor people, but also on others. E.g, the taxpayers
or public officials.

(d) Difficulties in Data Acquisition: it is clear that lack

of appropriate data or access to data may jeopardize

evaluation efforts.
This makes evaluation of the implemented policy becomes
difficult to estimate.
(e) Official Resistance: The official resistances to policy
evaluation is another problem in evaluation processes.

This happens when the officials sought that the

results are negative and can raise political

Hence, they refuse an access to data or they keep
incomplete records to make evaluation difficult.
(f) Time Constraint: There is time constraint for
many policy programs whose effects may take
some times to fully appear.


For such policies, it is difficult to evaluate them within a

very short period and reach a concrete conclusion on their
successes or failures.