Goal-attainment model (effectiveness model)

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As the name suggests this model measures as to how well the policy has been able to attain the goals it set out to achieve and whether these can indeed be directly attributed to the policy intervention. This means that the model places a high importance on how well the goal(s) has/ have been articulated, whether these are measurable and if not these need to be turned into measurable objectives by the evaluator. The next step is to understand how well the intervention itself has influenced realization of the goal(s). The goal-attainment model has representative democracy at its core by recognizing the “democratic aspect of public sector goals”. Representative democracy is made of several ‘principal- agent relationships’, for example the citizens elect their political representatives who further form their governments, and who further depend on civil servants for policy-making. There are however some drawbacks of this model. When goals are vague or ‘hazy’ or multiple goals are envisaged (‘goal catalogs’), these no longer remain an adequate criteria of merit for evaluating the policy intervention. Additionally, these hazy goals and goal catalogs are not categorized into measurable objectives, leaving this task to the evaluator and thus making it difficult for the evaluator to make a ‘value-neutral evaluation’. Another drawback of this model emanates from ‘unintended side-effects’ that may not have been anticipated during policy formulation and implementation. If the evaluators limit their assessment to criteria based on anticipated goals and impacts they risk leaving out potentially important effects of the policy intervention that were not foreseen beforehand. These effects may be positive or negative and inability to capture these effects would present a biased evaluation.

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