Evaluation of public policies

Evaluation of public policies

Public policy evaluation is a difficult task: there are a large number of pitfalls waiting for assessors who can undermine and destroy the legitimacy of an assessment that does not follow a strict protocol. However, rational evaluations are not within a government's right to test its public policy. After the classic gaps have been submitted in the assessment, we will establish methods which allow a reliable evaluation of public policies, specifically concerning statistical data. Finally, we must provide a precise evaluation, which will incorporate various degrees of experience in assessment procedures such that evaluators will be autonomous and more effective, disseminating and analyzing their findings and outcomes. 

The pitfalls of evaluation

It is not enough to monitor trends in the key indicators of the policy to evaluate public policy. Below we describe the classic falls in the assessment.

- Determination of the policy's causal impact 

The first question for deciding the association of correlation between a program and an outcome lies in evaluating. Suppose we choose to measure the effect of the health care costs on the population's wellbeing. The clear link between healthcare expenditures and wellbeing outcomes within the community is unfavourable because the persons who pay more are also the least treated. It is a reverse scenario, and will not give details on the effect of expenditure, from a health standard.

The existence of a causal relationship between health spending and health level is often checked by external influences, such as living standards. It affects spending and wellbeing as people invest more efficiently on their wellbeing and are typically safer because they conduct fewer risky activities. Consequently, there is no causal link regarding healthcare spending and the extent of prosperity.

When evaluating the return to work accompaniment policies, the same kind of problems is encountered. When care is taken, people who were followed might have taken longer to find a career than others. Nonetheless, it must be taken into consideration that the workers from the job centres, are given a benefit, can not arbitrarily allocate such accomplishments. They follow the individuals most vulnerable in terms of employability or reciprocally, those who are nearest to the task. It is referred to as selection preference: citizens who are followed are not selected from the jobless; in the same way, persons who invest a lot on their wellbeing are not arbitrarily chosen. 

- The incidence issue

In the public policy evaluation, the second issue is the question of the impact: not necessarily the person concerned is the ultimate recipient of the policy. In the case of taxes or subsidies, this second issue is prevalent. The theory of tax incidences reveals that a person who writes the cheque cannot eventually be subject to the burden of taxation. Taxed parties may transfer tax costs to others; conversely, individuals not initially subsidized may indirectly find they have benefited. 

- Structuring of evaluation

The evaluation of public policies is not only a question of data and technological expertise. The evaluated policies are sometimes complex and highly redeploy in society. Such attributes require a great deal of thoroughness in the assessment at the different stages of expertise. 

- Technical and administrative expertise

Technological competence is vital for avoiding holes in the assessment mentioned above. Administrative experience on the functional implementation of programs, public sector activities and policy agencies that oversee them cannot be left behind. 

Administrative experience helps one not only to establish an identifying plan and counterfactual scenarios but also to distinguish in the outcomes which emerge from the general theory of the program and which is the product of its practical application. These two skills, categories-technological and administrative will collaborate not just in the assessment process, but also during its execution. 

To be able to assess it more accurately, it should allow us to adapt some legal mechanisms. Even during this ongoing process of planning, it is necessary to agree to process out the measure and create a related counterfactual parallel, based on legal choices, before evaluation. Lastly, this prior coordination could prevent implementation failures that could make a beneficial public policy ineffective. 

- Independence of evaluators

Evaluation is still subject to scientific uncertainty irrespective of how rigorous it is. The results depend on the quality of the methodology (choice of the counterfactual variable, simplified test, etc.). But such findings must be valid to be relevant for the public policy evaluation. The conclusion is clear, without one suspecting, that any of them have been covered. The integrity of the assessors is essential for accountability and reputation.  

The challenge then lies in bringing together institutional and scientific partners, while preserving the independence of the assessment. There are apparent conflicts of interest where the evaluation of the public policy is performed by parliament, departments, director levels or public bodies. 

The time for evaluation is not the same as for legislation. Several factors lead to this divergence in the timeframe. Second, most forms of assessment require quantitative evidence. And we have to wait long enough 

to guarantee the integrity of the test. In comparison, the assessments also need time to analyze the findings, the methodologies and data regarding the selection of assessors. The tests often take time. Haste is always the enemy of precision and completeness in this area. Peers will carefully check the theories. In the case with public policy evaluations, this post evaluation, which is the purely empirical approach, cannot be ignored. A rush causes it to be more complicated and probably longer to make policy judgments. 

Conclusion

Although it is necessary to combine technical expertise, admirative experience and a comprehensive organization to make sure independence and pluralism, public policy evaluation does not go beyond the capacity of the government to scrutinize its public policies. However, three preconditions must be highlighted, namely access to data, time of expertise, and presentation of the results, for competent and credible assessment. These words must not be treated as restrictionsEvaluation of public policies, but instead as the core components of an appraisal that is objectively objective and clear to the decision-making phase.


References:

https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_NCAE_001_0001--public-policy-evaluation.htm

https://www.modernisation.gouv.fr/en/our-activities/evaluating-public-policy

https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1679-39512019000200324&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en

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Aug 05, 2020

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