Provide a description the internal and external feedback mechanisms
Provides a description of the information generated from feedback
Discuss how the program has been changed as a result of the evaluation
Feedback and Evaluation of the Welfare System
Over time there has been a need for policy implementation based on public reasons. Many years of different types of government have found ways to created public policy for issues that needed some applied regulations or laws. The federal welfare system is one of the policies that often needs’ continual evaluation. Over time public policy revealed some regulation and terms from the original thoughts of implementation, to changes that may be useful based on the needs or failures of the original policy. In the process of evaluation once a policy has been initiated there are key factors that tie in the success of policy involving internal and external mechanisms through evaluators. Public policy and program evaluation is a newer addition in the last 50 years to the history of the nation’s chain of attempts to use the brainpower from scholars, research experts, and scientists to further the interests of the state and constituents. Evaluation is asked to provide retrospective assessments (feedback) of the implementation, output, and outcome of government measures in order to create deeper understanding and well-grounded decisions involved through government operations such as the welfare system. The feedback initially grants the reason for policy change in the welfare system or other factors related. This paper details internal and external feedback mechanisms found in the welfare system, information generated from the feedback, and any program changes as a result of the evaluation of the history of welfare.
Original Implementation of Public Welfare Program
The welfare system was first established as a federal program, taking place during the Great Depression where Congress enacted an Aid to Dependent Children, also known as the ADC. This was originally created as a modest program to focus on widows, orphans, divorced or deserted mothers, and their children (Welfare, 2011). The creation had much to do with the loss of the husbands and availability to support the household with only the women home because the men provided the sole income and support of the household. By 1939 the ADC program covered only about 700,000 people and at least two-thirds of eligible children were not covered (Welfare, 2011). By 1960 the welfare program had grown to provide assistance to close numbers of over three million people. As the growth accelerated from the 1960’s and 70’s the program name had been changed to “Aid to Families with Dependent Children” (AFDC), which would again be changed in the future from evaluations. The program changes that were affected in the history through the current implementation of the program from state to state had many factors involved that included internal and external feedback to warrant some changes.
Internal and External Feedback Mechanisms
Experiences with implementing many programs during the 1960’s, such as welfare, suggested the need for careful appraisal of the impact of such programs (Theodoulou & Krafinis, 2008). Many people believe that the evaluation of a policy is reached at the end of policy cycle. However, according to Theodoulou and Krafinis (2008), “such a viewpoint would neglect the consequences of policy evaluation as well as how the old policy often leads into a new policy cycle.” The federal government wants to know how much money is spent for a particular program, amount of persons to service the program, service cost, and effectiveness of the program in relationship to the cost, known as internal factors. Of all factors the one most important to evaluating a program is whether the program resulted in positive benefit or made the problem worse. Each component of the process is related to a type of evaluation relating to feedback and often uses the impact evaluation or policy evaluation to measure outcomes.
The appraisal and evaluation of program implementation involves internal and external mechanisms. The welfare policy in America comes from an evolution of societal perceptions and expectations driving the “culture” for a deliverance of system that will provide services and benefits to those who need the program. The internal feedback mechanisms involve the budgets, policy actors, reaching intentions of the policy, and policy applications according to each state. Because the budget must be met with good reason evaluation often reveals the ability of keeping the program active or changes needed. The impact evaluation mechanism may be useful at this point to give internal evaluators proper details to compare program outputs and inputs such as the General Accounting Office (GAO) or such offices Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to evaluate the program expenses versus original intent. The ability to establish communication linkages through internal mechanisms can help provide feedback to policy-makers and program administrators at several points of the welfare system and how it is delivered. This includes the front-line, middle managers, and other service providers that may include non-governmental partners. The internal mechanisms provides continual reassessment’s based on the aspect of the original vision and the policies to see what works best and what may need revision.
Although internal feedback mechanisms are vital and found to be a necessity, the external evaluator can also provide valuable input for the policy makers. The value of the information relates to social areas and cultures that depend on the support of the welfare system. How the people detail feedback based on what needs were met can feedback what is needed to improve the program. The external feedback mechanisms reveal the constituents, program users, and outcome of the policy feedback in use, based on social areas or public interest, and economic situations.
Information Generated from Feedback
Information generated through feedback may be warranted but not always welcomed in practical thought from the management of the program. However, a major advantage of internal evaluation is that insiders will have the detailed knowledge of what is involved in delivering the policy or program (Theodoulou & Krafinis, 2008). One evaluation taken was the need for cost efficiency of the 60’s to push for reform and again in the 90’s. The original implementation of welfare was to help the widow and children but over time through evaluation the policy implementers began to address the issue of other needs for the program. This happened in the early 1990’s when welfare reform of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act was created (Welfare, 2011). This added additional guidelines based on evaluation changes that had become evident by the growth rate of participants on the welfare program through the years.
Based on the internal and external mechanisms of evaluation, change is warranted and the shifting of the welfare policy created a reason to initiate that participants take self responsibility and get a job. There are also disadvantages, such as the insiders may not have the specialized skills to do a good evaluation and evaluation may be affected by the insider’s un-willingness to make major changes. This is because they have a specific stake in the maintenance of the program status such as becoming un-employed and changes suggested may not be welcomed. The program recipients were not happy with the regulation changes set forth by President Clinton because some people would be forced to seek work. Both internal and external evaluators deliver information that communicates’ particulars that stimulate a need for change. Time reveals what may be needed as economic shifting takes place. The programs will endure shifting to create the change even if not be welcome, but needed.
Program Evaluation and Changes
Evaluation is often a controversial and hard-to-understand strategy of public governance, decision-making, and control. The public policy and evaluation of a program is a mechanism for monitoring systems and government programs. The results help constituents and policy actors to act accordingly and move with changes warranted. Times of need in the public policy realm changes often and may have determining factors that place constraints on policies, such as the economic conditions of the nation (unemployment rate) and guidelines of change One of the ways to evaluate program is known as the evaluation rationality. The models of evaluation and theories such as the impact theory relating to how the program impacts or process evaluation theory are all part of social investigation. Pre-experimental Designs and One-shot case studies are both analyses of what happened at some level of the policy process to determine if change is warranted based on the behavior of the condition. The welfare program has changed from being a main support of widows, children, and single mothers to being a conjoined effort program that aids the needy people and poorer areas of society. In 1992 President Bill Clinton was elected and promised to end welfare as people knew it and in 1994 based on evaluation of more than 14.2 million welfare recipients, a figure of change was warranted. The change added that jobs become part of the programs intent and maximum of three years of continual program usage be placed to regulate some cost control and still help the needy. Evaluation has much to offer policy makers, but is used less often due to competing pressures of interest. As the welfare system has changed over the last 50 years continual evaluation reveals that change will be continual based on world factors. This change also indicated that people needed to example more self-responsibility and may generate a more confident level of social existence in that area of society to create a chain of leadership for changing culture. As a result of the evaluation, changes placed were successful and lowered the amount of people who were on welfare overall. Evaluation is the process of distinguishing the worthwhile from the worthless, the precious from the useless; evaluation implies looking backward in order to be able to steer forward better and the changes made to the welfare system demonstrate a nonlinear shift.
Welfare.(2011). Retrieved November 10, 2012, from Almanac of Policy Issues:
Theodoulou, S., & Kofinis, C. (2004). The art of the game: Understanding American public policy making. Belmont, CA: Thomson.