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ERIC Number: EJ850611
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1098-2140
The Evaluator's Role in Recommending Program Closure: A Model for Decision Making and Professional Responsibility
Eddy, Rebecca M.; Berry, Tiffany
American Journal of Evaluation, v30 n3 p363-376 2009
Evaluators face challenges when programs consistently fail to meet expectations for performance or improvement and consequently, evaluators may recommend that closing a program is the most prudent course of action. However, the evaluation literature provides little guidance regarding when an evaluator might recommend program closure. Given evaluators' ethical responsibilities to the public good coupled with the inadequacy of methods currently used to justify program closure, we posit the development of a heuristic model designed to identify the point at which a program might be recommended for closure. The heuristic model depends on whether implementation factors are under the control of program administrators (i.e., flexible factors) or out of their control (i.e., immutable factors) and are potentially moderated by facilitating or inhibitory characteristics (e.g., political advocacy, community need, length of time in operation, performance quality). By delineating whether a poorly functioning program could be substantially improved, evaluators should not consider recommendation for or support of a program closure a personal or professional defeat, but rather an opportunity to exercise their professional responsibility to the evaluation profession and the public good. Caveats regarding the political context of an evaluation and the information required to make heuristic judgments about program closure are also discussed. (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California