o not use adaptive strategies to increase profits; they can use them to insure and increase future funding, program effectiveness, and client satisfaction (McNamara, 2007). 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 program (McNamara, 2007). Many individuals look at program evaluation as black and white, either right or wrong. On the contrary, effective program evaluation methods assist in identifying the strengths and weakness of a program. 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)