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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Public Policy Evaluation
Module Code LG5040
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Eoin O'Malley
Semester 2: Deiric O'Broin
Autumn: Deiric O'Broin
Module TeachersEoin O'Malley
Deiric O'Broin
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

The need for more evidence-informed decisions in government is a regular theme of public service reform programmes, and recent initiatives have emphasised the need to enhance evaluation capacity within government and public service organisations. In public policy-making and public programmes, evaluation has been defined as the “assessment of merit, worth and value of administration, output, and outcome of government interventions, which is intended to play a role in future practical action situations” (Vedung). This module provides an overview of the link between evaluation exercises and wider policy-making processes, evaluation and implementation, the emphases of different evaluation exercises and approaches, and related approaches such as process evaluation and performance measurement systems. The course also explores ways evaluation findings might contribute more to policy-making. The module complements other modules in the MSc in Public Policy programme by giving students a firm understanding of the principles of evaluation and different evaluation approaches and purposes. By exploring these themes, students gain a deeper critical understanding of different approaches to policy evaluation and the role evaluation can play in the policy-making process.

Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the place of evaluation within policy-making and different approaches to policy-making.
2. Understand and recognise the different uses, purposes and emphasis of evaluation exercises.
3. Appreciate some insights from established process evaluation techniques and the strengths and limitations of different evaluation approaches.
4. Appreciate how evaluation findings and research can be integrated into the policy process.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture11No Description
Debate11Discussion of core readings in class.
Assignment Completion225No Description
Assessment Feedback3No Description
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Policy-Making and Evaluation

Evaluation and Implementation

Policy Evaluation Uses, Purposes and Audiences

Process Evaluation and Developing a Programme Logic Model

Performance Measurement

Making the Most of Evaluation

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayEssay 5000-word essay: Students should choose one of the assignment options below. 1) Drawing on varied examples, discuss how evaluation is likely to be used in different ways in different circumstances. What implications do these differences have for evaluators? 2) Drawing on examples from different fields, explain some of the difficulties that can arise with performance measurement and the use of indicators to assess performance in meeting policy objectives. What implications do you think these difficulties have for evaluators, and how might some of these difficulties be overcome?100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Scott R. Furlong and Michael E. Kraft: 2020, Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives,
  • John Hogan, Mary P. Murphy: 2021, Policy Analysis in Ireland,
  • Johnston Miller, K. and D. McTavish: 0, Making and Managing Public Policy,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MELPMaster of Arts in European Law & Policy
MPPMSc in Public Policy

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