Estimated Reading Time: 1 minutes
This week, we talked about two readings: A truly useful bat is one found in the hands of a slugger by Grob, and Government information policy research: Importance, approaches, and realities by McClure and Jaeger. I thought Bat was a good article because it not only describes how evaluations can be used as a valid research method, but, it also had a How to succeed in business kind of vibe to it.
As I$ve talked about before, evaluations are a way to look at interventions and decide if the are helping, not helping but not harming, or harming their intended audience. This article wonders if $evaluations are useful only if they are based on randomized experiments, with control groups, null hypotheses, and designs that examine every possible explanation of apparent but suspect success of social programs.$ [p. 499] The article acknowledges that only a handful of evaluations have met that description and less rigorously performed evaluations can still move knowledge forward (if thorough and objective.)
The part I liked best was the author's description of how to get into the world of policy influence. Grob offers a loosely framed, step-by-step process to become a player that I think could be useful in my own academic career. His steps, translated by me, are:
So I liked that article and McClure and Jaeger's article is going into my library to be re-accessed when I need more exact information on looking at policies and research about policies.