Evaluating for Public Value: Clarifying the Relationship Between Public Value and Program Evaluation
This article presents a framework that integrates the concept of public value, known primarily in public administration and public sector economics circles, with program evaluation. We identify four components of this Evaluating for Public Value (EPV) framework. These are: (1) the “publicness” of the participant and the participant’s goals; (2) organizational credibility, which incorporates participant and stakeholder perceptions of the program, as well as the delivery organization; (3) program outcomes, with an emphasis on the value gained by program participants; and (4) broader impacts. The notion of measuring a program’s publicness is perhaps the most novel aspect of this framework. Extension professionals tend to think about who they are serving when they design programs, but often do not revisit these issues as part of program evaluation. This paper also provides guidance on strategies for measuring broader impacts, such as use of the community capitals framework or measurement of social capital creation.
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