This article demonstrates the value of theoretical ex-ante evaluation of policy programs. We show how a specific policy might not achieve its objectives and illustrate the elements of the policy, which need improvement. These conclusions are based on a reconstruction and evaluation of the theory behind a policy program that aims to increase productivity of schools in the Netherlands, the policy of ‘‘educational governance.’’ We chose this program for its interesting combination of measures on internal quality assurances as well as accountability and supervision. The evaluation clearly shows a flaw in the theory underlying the policy program, which threatens its potential effectiveness. Furthermore, we show that there is a risk of contrary and incompatible interests among actors, as well as some practical reasons why the program might not work. Adjustment of the program is recommended before implementation.
Janssens, F. J. G., & de Wolf, I. (2009). Analyzing the assumptions of a policy programme: an ex-ante evaluation of "Educational Governance" in the Netherlands. American journal of evaluation, 30(3), 411-425. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214009341016