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Program Decisions - Evaluating a Bird in the Hand Versus Two in the Bush

NCJ Number
Evaluation and Planning Volume: 4 Dated: (1983) Pages: 325-334
Date Published
10 pages
In new programs that have not reached full effectiveness, or in programs that are designed to produce future benefits (i.e., become 'institutionalized'), evaluations that fail properly to assess future performance may bias decisions against the programs.
For such programs, consideration of future benefits may significantly enhance the assessment of their cost-effectiveness. This paper describes an evaluation methodology based on decision theory that can take future benefits into account in evaluating a program. The methodology was applied to the Metropolitan Atlanta Crime Commission (MACC) Community Anti-Crime Project and indicated the potential for substantial future benefits subsequent to cessation of federal funding. The implications of use of this methodology and MACC results for the overall Community Anti-Crime Program are also discussed. Figures, tabular data and 11 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1981