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Policy evaluation broadly refers to all the activities carried out by several state and societal actors to determine how a policy has performed in practice and to estimate its likely future performance. Outcomes of these evaluations feed back into the policy processes with the intention of refining policy design and implementation, conducting policy reforms or even policy termination in some cases (Xun et al, 2010). Vedung (2013) suggests that policy evaluation is the “careful assessment of the merit, worth, and value of organization, content, administration, output, and effects of ongoing or finished government interventions, which is intended to play a role in future, practical action situations”. Vedung also highlights six models for policy evaluation. Three of these, goal attainment model, side-effects model and relevance model use merit criteria based on the policy intervention itself. The other three models, the client-oriented model, stakeholder model and collegial model are actor models, i.e. their criteria of evaluation is derived from relevant ‘actors’ or stakeholders.


Vedung’s Six Models:

Goal-attainment model (effectiveness model)

Collegial model

Stakeholder model

Client-oriented model

Relevance model

Side-effects model


Patton and Sawicki’s Approaches:

Before-and-After Comparisons

With-and-Without Comparisons

Actual-versus-Planned Performance Comparisons

Experimental Models

Quasi-Experimental Models

Cost-Oriented Approaches