ERIC Number: ED132203
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Sep
Reference Count: 0
The R&D Strategy as an Alternative to Program Evaluation Methodology.
Urban, Hugh B.
Program evaluation methodology as an investigatory strategy has been developed to generate information as to the capabilities of human service programs to produce maximal desired effects in client populations with minimal resource use. Experience with the procedures, however, has disclosed multiple difficulties attendant upon their use, doubt as to the validity of the information which they generate, and a legitimate questioning as to the impact which such findings have upon upgrading human services. An alternative strategy for program testing has been in established use in industrial, agricultural and medical contexts, where the lesson has already been learned not to install a program first, and then mount an evaluation effort to see whether what has been built proves to have any merit. The utilization of such a Research and Development (R&D) strategy calls for a sharp separation of the processes of program development from program operations in the world-of-use. Some major differences between the two strategies are enumerated. It is argued that continued pursuit of contemporary procedures for program evaluation will not only prove excessively costly in the long-run, but will also be unlikely to produce operational services and systems with the high effect/low cost characteristics which are sought, and that a shift in the field of human service program development should be made toward an R&D strategy instead. (Author/RC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Washington, D.C., September 1976)