Effectiveness Analysis

  • Robert L. Schalock


Effectiveness analysis addresses the question of whether the program met its intended goals and objectives. Its major purposes include reporting a program’s results, providing the basis for data-based management (formative feedback), and providing information for programmatic changes. This type of OBE analysis is the one most commonly used today due to the shift toward pragmatic program evaluation, practical and ethical problems in establishing experimental/control conditions, and the resources (time, money, expertise) required for impact or benefit-cost analysis. Thus, effectiveness analysis is the type of OBE analysis the reader is most likely to do and read about.

As stated previously, any analysis involves making comparisons between one condition or status and another. In reference to effectiveness analysis, the most typical evaluation (comparison) designs include person-as-own comparison, pre-postchange comparison, or longitudinal status comparisons. Although these are the easiest comparison conditions to generate, the number of assumptions that one makes in using them limits the analysis’s precision, certainty, comparability, and generalizability. However, these limitations should not discourage the reader from doing good effectiveness analysis that can provide essential information to all interested stakeholders regarding the program’s results, which in turn can be used for data-based management, reporting, and program change purposes. As stated by Morell (1979):

An important purpose of outcome evaluation is to help form theories concerning the operation and effectiveness of social programs. Although evaluation which follows the experimental prescription may well be the most useful tool for such an endeavor, it is by no means the only tool. The development of theory is far removed from a one-to-one correspondence with experimental results, and factors such as plausibility and reasonability play an important role in theory development. Those concepts emerge from an intimate understanding of the program or treatment under study, and one must give serious consideration to any research which may help increase such understanding. (p.7)


Effectiveness Analysis Formative Feedback Current Living Competitive Employment Mental Health Facility 
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Additional Readings

  1. Anthony, W. A., Cohen, M., & Kennard, W. (1990). Understanding the current facts and principles of mental health systems planning. American Psychologist, 45(11), 1249–1252.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borich, G. D., & Nance, D. D. (1987). Evaluating special education programs: Shifting the professional mandate from process to outcome. Remedial and Special Education, 8(3), 7–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown, A. C. (1993). Revitalizing “handicap” for disability research: Developing tools to assess progress in quality of life for persons with disabilities. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 4(2), 57–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Judge, W. Q. (1994). Correlates of organizational effectiveness: A multilevel analysis of a multidimensional outcome. Journal of Business Ethics, 13(1), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Meyer, L. H., & Evans, I. M. (1993). Meaningful outcomes in behavioral intervention: Evaluating positive approaches to the remediation of challenging behaviors. In J. Reichle & D. P. Wacher (Eds.), Communicative approaches to the management of challenging behavior, (pp. 407–428). Baltimore: Brookes.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Schalock
    • 1
  1. 1.Hastings CollegeHastingsUSA

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