Implementation Evaluation

Introduction

An increase in a number of the public administration’s impacts on the society and economy fostered questions how public policies’ implementation can be improved and how well these policies work. There are two methods of judging policies; these are the implementation evaluation and the policy analysis. Talking about the implementation evaluation, it concentrates on the maximization of the appropriate values. There are managerial, legal and political perspectives of the implementation evaluation. The first one is traditional way. According to the traditional managerial perspective, the implementation of the policies is evaluated using such aspects as economy, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, through the assessment of these aspects the traditional managerial perspective helps to answer the question if the execution of the particular policy is optimal or not. Thus, this paper focuses on the influence of effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and economy on the quality of the policies’ implementation.

Traditional Managerial Perspective

Effectiveness

The implementation process concentrates on the effectiveness. Some of the main questions that are likely to be asked are whether the administering agency is rationally (effectively) organized or not, and if a feedback within the agency is adequate or not. Besides, it questions the clearness of the patterns of responsibility and authority, and whether there are enough resources spared to the policy or not. According to this perspective, some policies are more appropriate for implementation than others. If the administrative costs are excessive, the policy will not be considered as a “good” one.

From this perspective, a lot of policies do not work well because the policies that require a “street-level” interaction would have an unpredictable quality. Similar situations, individuals and cases may be treated differently by the different street-level administrators. Moreover, they have a lot of discretion; thus, their personal motives may impact on the decision making process. Highly motivated street-level administrators would promote these interests as commonly understood in the policy area they work. However, the street level administrators may lack  the resources for applying the rules to all cases uniformly. Hence, they would invest all their resources to a place where they may perform the best. On the other hand, if the street-level administrator is more self-interested than motivated to serve the public interests, he or she may place efforts only on the cases that are easier to solve. Due to this fact, his or her performance may become the best one. However, in both cases only the street-level administrator determines what the effect of the policy would be and how it woud be implemented.

The traditional managerial approach tries to develop measures that would constrain the street-level administrators more to the expectations of the organization and official guidelines. These indicative measures show to street-level administrator what he or she is supposed to be doing. Unfortunately, in many cases, such indicators cannot be created.

The traditional managerial approach fosters such implementation evaluation techniques that let it remain under the control of the agency’s hierarchy. According to Rosenbloom, Kravchuk and Clerkin (2014), there are the common techniques of the evaluation such as the site visits, process measures, comparison with the professional standards, and benchmarking.

Cost-Effectiveness

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Cost-effectiveness also may be used for implementation evaluation, although it can become a complicated concern. The main question for the cost-effectiveness is whether another method could also achieve the same or higher level of the success at the less or the same cost. In terms of the cost-effectiveness, the traditional managerial approach usually evaluates the implementation of the policy as not working well when its average marginal costs are rising. On the other hand, if they are decreasing, the treatment of cases may be still supported by the managerial perspective. If the marginal costs are high, there might be some additional ways for its reduction. For instance, the administrative overhead can be cut.  However, according to the managerial perspective, if the marginal costs started to rise and there are no evident ways of reducing them, the policy would be considered as too comprehensive and, hence, be applied to too many cases. As the matter of a fact, another approach should be developed.

The cost-effectiveness’ criterion may be augmented by the cost-benefit analysis. While cost-effectiveness approach supposes that each case or union  has the same value, the cost-benefit analysis requires evaluation of possible differences among these cases and units. For example, the economic benefit of the implementation of the reducing litter policy in entertainment district may be greater than that in the outlying neighborhood. So, in general, when someone is using a cost-effectiveness approach, the units and cases for treatment have to be identical.

Economy

The other thing that is central to the traditional managerial perspective is the economy. According to it, when the administrative costs that are required by the policy, fraud, waste, and loss through mistakes are minimal, the policy may be considered to be executed. For the most part, this traditional managerial approach’s aspect of the implementation`s evaluation is not controversial. It focuses on the process analysis.

Passing Costs on to Clients. The classic way of reducing the administrative costs is to transfer them on to the recipients of the services. This pattern is usually followed in welfare and Social Security programs. However, the potential application for the benefit may deter some people. Moreover, even the greater deterrence may appear by forcing the applicants to wait for the long periods of time under the unpleasant conditions. For instance, hot, poorly ventilated or crowded corridors, scrupulously guarded closing time, nonexistent seating, several hours standing in a line to move from the end to the proper administrative official deter people from applying for benefits even if they are eligible to receive them. According to Rosenbloom et al. (2014), a study in 1970, it appeared that approximately one-third of the people that are eligible to apply for some administrative services did not do it because of one reason or another, including the unpleasant administrative conditions.

The next potential way of passing costs on  is the residency requirements. The long term residency requirements in several states facilitate planning the welfare budget, encourage individuals to seek work, and reduce the number of the individuals who are fraudulently seeking the welfare benefits. Although the residency requirements may make sense from the traditional managerial perspective, the Supreme Court considered the cost passes on to the individual to be a violation of the essential liberty and rights.

Passing Costs on to Employees. Some of the costs of implementing the administrative program may be passed on to the employees. For instance, they may occur  to supply transportation for the official purposes, continued training through the refresher courses or supplying uniforms. Moreover, the employees may bear the costs of the exposure to harmful substances in the workplace or occupational disease.

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Controlling Misuse. The cost reduction may be controversial when it involves the public administration’s attempt to assure that clients do not use funds allocated to them in the improper way. For example, the effort to assure that the welfare funds to families with dependent children are used for their benefits may raise difficult issues.

Conclusion

Nowadays, the number of the impacts of the public administration on the economy and society has grown up considerably. Hence, the questions of how well the public policies work and how the implementation of these policies can be improved appear. The idea of the evaluation of the policies’ implementation focuses on the maximization of the appropriate values. The traditional managerial perspective is the existing tool of the implementation’s evaluation. It values efficiency, economy, and effectiveness in implementation of different policies.

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