By Eduardo Wiesner Durán
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Additional resources for From macroeconomic correction to public sector reform: the critical role of evaluation, Parts 63-214
1) The development and strengthening of evaluation capacity makes the correction of "government failure" more manageable and politically viable. (2) The processes to achieve economic goals and political objectives reinforce each other. (3) The institutionalization of evaluation and its incorporation into the political process strengthens governance. Page 9 Box 1 The Public Sector-downscaling and Efficiency-inducing Effect of Ex Post Evaluation Public sectors in DCs tend to be very large in nominal terms, and quite inefficient in real terms, that is in terms of what is actually accomplished.
Its main contribution would be to gradually create a constituency for effective government. This would be decisive in terms of the political viability of public sector reforms. After all, "political issues are much more difficult and important than technical issues" (Alesina 1992). If political support exists, reform will be viable. Evaluation not only increases the likelihood of greater efficiency, but simultaneously strengthens the political process through which public choices are made. As public participation growsawakened by the results of evaluationpublic choices will gain legitimacy, and those holding power will become more politically accountable.
Some experts will say that evaluation is "a process in which, at a certain point in time, the result of a defined output into a system is systematically assessed and reported" (Stokke 1990). Others will say that "evaluation is a type of policy research, designed to help people make wise choices about future programming" (Weiss 1990). Yet others will define evaluation as a "procedure at the interface between fact-finding and value judgements, scientific inquiry and administrative decision-making, a learning process and a justification exercise" (Musto 1991).