Monday, May 03, 2010

clearly stated target outcomes are needed to form good policy

In my current job, I have participated in the planning and writing of several multi-million dollar grants. On more than one occasion I have been struck by how meager the planning process was. Programs are developed with little in the way of clear objectives, evaluation metrics or paths to sustainability. Of course, this problem is not unusual as Jeffery D. Sachs explains in the May issue of Scientific American:

During 14 months of debate over health care, the administration did not put forward a clear, analytical policy white paper on the aims, methods and expected results of the proposed reforms. Only the Congressional Budget Office’s budget scoring of legislative proposals was even partly systematic; no comparable independent analysis exists on other substantive issues. The actual health consequences of the legislation were never reviewed or debated coherently.

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