There has been a surge in interest in public management development in the 1980s. Countries that had no management development programmes introduced new ones, while countries already having such programmes made far‐reaching changes to them. Initiatives have been costly precisely at a time when most governments have had to exercise restraint in their spending. Suggests that governments should have in place rigorous evaluation plans to assess if the programmes are successful. Reviews the evaluation efforts of several countries in public management development programmes. The study reveals that the evaluation record is spotty with the evaluation efforts of some countries, notably the United Kingdom, showing promise. In addition, points to several suggestions for governments to strengthen their capacity to assess the impact of their management development programmes. Concludes by arguing that governments tend to bias their evaluation of management development efforts and the results when they initially identify what ought to be evaluated and how.
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