The last stage of the public policy process is evaluation. Policy evaluation is
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The last stage of the public policy process is evaluation. Policy evaluation is the estimation, appraisal, or assessment of a policy, its content, implementation, goal attainment, and other effects. Evaluation can occur throughout the policy cycle. However, it is typically done after some implementation has occurred. As evaluation seeks factors that contribute to a policy’s successes and failures, it can lead to a recycling of the process to modify or perhaps terminate the policy.
An examination of policy impacts is an important part of the study of evaluation. Policy impacts are a combination of policy outputs and policy outcomes. Policy outputs are what agencies actually do in pursuing policy decisions. They usually are easily counted and analyzed. Policy outcomes are the intended and unintended consequences of policies. These are more difficult to measure.
Policy impacts have several dimensions that should be taken into account in evaluation:
1. policies affect the targeted public problem and people;
2. policies may also have positive or negative effects on other situations and groups, known as externalities;
3. policies have consequences for the future as well as the present;
4. policies involve direct, indirect and opportunity costs; and
5. the effects of policies could be either material or symbolic.
Pick a public policy at the federal, state or local level and provide a brief description. Then, apply each of the dimensions of policy impacts above to that policy.
(Sources should be listed alphabetically by author’s last name).