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ERIC Number: EJ792344
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-1097-6736
A Voice Crying in the Wilderness: Legislative Oversight Agencies' Efforts to Achieve Utilization
VanLandingham, Gary R.
New Directions for Evaluation, n112 p25-39 Win 2006
While legislative oversight offices, like many evaluation and policy analysis units, face substantial challenges in promoting use of their work by policymakers, they often have not taken steps to overcome these challenges by adopting the strategies suggested by the evaluation literature. Although the offices seek utilization, they have not fully heeded the call to deliver utilization-focused evaluations that strategically engage stakeholders and are designed and marketed to promote use by policymakers. The organizational design and research norms of the offices appear to play a substantial role in constraining their outreach and marketing efforts. Offices that are located in traditional financial auditing units or have adopted traditional auditing standards are apparently often unwilling or unable to form close networks with legislative stakeholders and to promote their work. These offices apparently believe that such activities could pose a threat to their organizational independence. While this inward focus on independence likely affects legislative use of the evaluations produced by these offices, this impact is difficult to ascertain. Too often evaluators are not doing the things that are necessary to work effectively in today's legislative environment. Evaluators who seek to have their work actively used by government policymakers--and virtually all have this goal regardless of whether they work in the legislative, executive, nonprofit, or private sectors--need to take responsibility for establishing close working relationships with these persons, and actively designing and marketing work products for ready use in the fast-paced policy environment. Evaluators who fail to take these steps likely limit their role to that of a voice crying in the wilderness and forgo the opportunity to effectively speak truth to power. (Contains 4 tables and 4 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A