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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
2013 Awards for Excellence
Article Type: 2013 Awards for Excellence From: Journal of Health Organization and Management, Volume 28, Issue 1
The following article was selected for this year's Outstanding Paper Award for Journal of Health Organization and Management
"Using evaluation theory in priority setting and resource allocation"
Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Evaluation, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Vancouver, Canada
School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Faculty of Health and Social Development, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, Canada
University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, Toronto, Canada
British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada
Purpose - Public sector interest in methods for priority setting and program or policy evaluation has grown considerably over the last several decades, given increased expectations for accountable and efficient use of resources and emphasis on evidence-based decision making as a component of good management practice. While there has been some occasional effort to conduct evaluation of priority setting projects, the literatures around priority setting and evaluation have largely evolved
separately. In this paper, the aim is to bring them together.
Design/methodology/approach - The contention is that evaluation theory is a means by which evaluators reflect upon what it is they are doing when they do evaluation work. Theories help to organize thinking, sort out relevant from irrelevant information, provide transparent grounds for particular implementation choices, and can help resolve problematic issues which may arise in the conduct of an evaluation project.
Findings - A detailed review of three major branches of evaluation theory – methods, utilization, and valuing – identifies how such theories can guide the development of efforts to evaluate priority setting and resource allocation initiatives. Evaluation theories differ in terms of their guiding question, anticipated setting or context, evaluation foci, perspective from which benefits are calculated, and typical methods endorsed.
Originality/value - Choosing a particular theoretical approach will structure the way in which any priority setting process is evaluated. The paper suggests that explicitly considering evaluation theory makes key aspects of the evaluation process more visible to all stakeholders, and can assist in the design of effective evaluation of priority setting processes; this should iteratively serve to improve the understanding of priority setting practices themselves.
Keywords - Evaluation, Health planning and policy, Priority setting, Resource allocation, Social welfare planning, Theory
This article originally appeared in Volume 26 Number 5, 2012 Journal of Health Organization and Management
The following articles were selected for this year's Highly Commended Award
"Whose kettle?: Exploring the role of objects in managing and mediating the boundaries of integration in health and social care"
This article originally appeared in Volume 26 Number 6, 2012, Journal of Health Organization and Management
"Members' sensemaking in a multi-professional team"
This article originally appeared in Volume 26 Number 5, 2012, Journal of Health Organization and Management
"Managing in the context of healthcare’s escalating technology and evolving culture"
Dawn E. Bowden
Stanley J. Smits
This article originally appeared in Volume 26 Number 2, 2012, Journal of Health Organization and Management
Dr Kimberly Culley