|Owning Department/School:||Department of Social & Policy Sciences|
|Level:||Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)|
|Supplementary Assessment:||Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)|
This unit aims to provide students with:
* a critical review of the role of evaluation in the design and delivery of public policy;
* an appreciation and understanding of the strategies, stages and methods of evaluation in public policy.
By the end of the course students are expected to achieve the following outcomes:
Knowledge and understanding of:
* The role of evaluation in the design and delivery of public policy;
* The main approaches and frameworks used in public policy evaluation;
* A range of evaluative strategies and data collection methods;
* The role of monitoring and performance indicators in evaluation.
* Critical awareness of the meaning, nature and limits of evaluation in public policy.
Professional and practical competence
* The ability to synthesise and interpret evidence for policy making;
* The ability to be critical consumers and users of research evidence.
* Competence in critical oral and written argument.
During this unit students will be expected to develop their skills in the following areas:
* Ability to select, summarise and synthesise written information from multiple sources (Facilitated/Assessed);
* Comprehensive and scholarly written communication (Facilitated/Assessed);
* Ability to develop rigorous arguments through precise use of concepts and models (Facilitated);
* Ability to work independently, without close supervision of guidance (Facilitated).
The unit will be taught partly by lectures and partly in a seminar/reading group format. There will be required reading for each session and practical exercises in choosing evaluation approaches or frameworks and critically assessing published policy evaluation material. There will be a strong focus on developing an understanding of the role of evaluation in informing public policy with a particular focus on examples from a range of countries.
The content will include the following:
* Critical introduction to the role of evaluation in public policy. How does evaluation inform policy? Why, how and by whom are policy evaluations carried out?
* Frameworks and methods in evaluation. What are the dominant frameworks or approaches used in public policy evaluation? What is formative and summative evaluation and what are the strengths and weaknesses of new evaluation approaches (such as theory-based evaluation). How are different data collection methods (such as RCTs, cross section studies, surveys, etc) used in evaluation.
* Role of the evaluator. Who evaluates? What are the benefits and disadvantages of internal vs external evaluation. Why do policy makers commission evaluations and what influences how and to what extent evaluation results are disseminated and used?
* Monitoring and performance management. What is the role of routine monitoring and performance management in evaluation? How is monitoring distinct from research. Exploration of the strengths and weaknesses of routine data to inform public policy.
* The ethics of evaluation. What are the main ethical and ideological issues in public policy evaluation. Issues of ownership, interpretation and ethical use of evaluation findings. Evidence-based practice and the development of guidelines.
Throughout the unit examples and case studies will be drawn from specific policy areas and examples from a range of countries and also from a supranational perspective such as the EU and international organisations such as the World Bank, WHO and others.
SP50251 is Compulsory on the following programmes:Department of Social & Policy Sciences
SP50251 is Optional on the following programmes:Department of Social & Policy Sciences