On behalf of the evaluation of policy outcomes, Mayer and Greenwood (1980) developed their model of causally related concepts, reflecting the entire policy process from the formulation of policy plans up to and including the outcomes of the resulting policy measures. This model was customized for the evaluation of treatment programs in the field of youth welfare (Mesman Schultz 1987). It turned out, each of these models provides a sound basis for several research projects. Yet, in trying to find an explanation for poor policy outcomes after ex-post-facto evaluation, one has to be prepared for two possible pitfalls. These occur when the rationale behind the choice for a particular policy measure or treatment program (the starting concept in both models) is disregarded. The first pitfall is the policy maker's or practitioner's tendency toward 'fast-prototyping,' i. e., the quick operationalization of an idea in order to solve a problem without too much concern for that idea's validity. The second pitfall is the antinomy that may occur when policy measures or intervention programs having the same objective are simultaneously implemented. The models of Social Research & Development (Rothman 1980) or of Intervention Research (Rothman & Thomas 1989) may serve as appropriate bases for overcoming these pitfalls since a close cooperation is required between practitioners and researchers in innovative activities.
Schultz, Kees Mesman
"The Integration of Intervention and Evaluation: Avoiding Theoretical Pitfalls,"
Clinical Sociology Review:
1, Article 10.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/csr/vol12/iss1/10