However, are formal program evaluations necessary in organizations funded by federal and state resources According to Milstein and Wetterhall (1999), evaluations are "essential", despite that fact they are not preformed a regular basis.
McNamara (2007) seems to agree with Milstein and Wetterhall and discusses myths of program evaluation and suggests these myths have caused a reduction in program evaluations. The first myth addresses the thought of too much "useless data" (McNamara, 2007). Often there uncertainties in what program information is necessary for an effective evaluation and useless information is collected (McNamara, 2007). However, during program planning, evaluation methods can be determined to avoid uncertainties and aid in a continual process of program evaluation by using outcome measures. The information gained using outcomes can assist in determining adaptive strategies for the organization (Ginter et al., 2002 and McNamara, 2007). For example, if an organization provides transportation for clients and outcome measures indicate that many clients are not able to use this program due to space limitation, the organization may consider expanding the scope of their transportation program.
The second myth is the success and failure of a prog...
Evaluations can assist the organization in troubleshooting the weaknesses and strengthening the overall program. Using the previous example, the evaluation allowed the organization to see strengths and weakness in the transportation program. The community took advantage of the transportation program (strength) however due to limited space; the program could not service all clients in need (weakness). The organization should consider expanding the transportation program to meet the needs of the community. Finally, McNamara (2007) discusses the myth that program evaluation is a "complex processes" and must "include the use of experts". As note before, program evaluation can be an ongoing process and can be as simple as client outcomes, and satisfaction reports (Ginter et al., 2002). Remember that program evaluation is simply a means to stay on track with the mission and vision of the organization (Ginter et al., 2002 and McNamara, 2007).
Forming adaptive strategies will assist with many other issues public and not-for-profit organizations face. As noted in the introduction, these organizations are at dependant on federal and state funding; therefore they aim to keep over head costs low and productivity high for future funding (McNamara, 2007). McNamara (2007) describes using outcomes for program evaluation as a "compass for the program to help it keep its direction". Results can provide administrators with a clear picture of program costs and productivity. If administrators determine the program is producing low results at a high cost they will contract the program. On the contrary, if the program shows high productivity and revenue they may maintain or expand the program (Ginter et al., 2002). This "picture" is also a useful