Social programme evaluation in the USA: Trends and issues

Edward Allan Brawley, Emilia Martinez-Brawley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper reviews the emergence of social programme evaluation as an important and frequently controversial topic in the United States during the last three decades. Political, practical, epistemological, and ethical Issues involved in the evaluation of social service programmes are discussed, as well as the strengths and shortcomings of a range of specific evaluative approaches and techniques. Current trends towards evaluation strategies that take greater account of the special attributes of the social services and social work practice and that produce information that is more useful to policy-makers, programme administra tors and social work practitioners than has been true in the past are identified. Some cautionary remarks are included about the dangers of overemphasizing 'hard' quantitative methodologies, goal attainment, and efficiency at the expense of alternative approaches that can produce other and sometimes more appropriate indicators of programme perform ance and results.This paper examines the evolution over three decades in the United States of efforts to evaluate social programmes, social services and social work practice. Some lessons that can be drawn from the failures and successes of this experience are suggested and the strengths and weaknesses of various evaluative strategies and techniques are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-413
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume18
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1988
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Program Evaluation
Social Work
trends
evaluation
mobile social services
trend
social work
Evaluation
goal attainment
Attribute
hazards
Administrative Personnel
Ethics
Trends
Methodology
Evaluate
methodology
Alternatives
efficiency
Range of data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Social programme evaluation in the USA : Trends and issues. / Brawley, Edward Allan; Martinez-Brawley, Emilia.

In: British Journal of Social Work, Vol. 18, No. 4, 08.1988, p. 391-413.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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