The Design and Practice of Integrating Evidence: Connecting Performance Management with Program Evaluation

In recent decades, governments have invested in the creation of two different forms of knowledge production about government performance: program evaluations and performance management. Prior research has noted both tensions between these two approaches and potential for complementarities when they are aligned. We offer empirical evidence on how program evaluations connect with performance management in the United States federal government in 2000 and 2013. We show that in the later time period there is an interactive effect between the two approaches, which we argue reflects deliberate efforts by the Bush and Obama administrations to build closer connections between program evaluation and performance management. Drawing on the 2013 data, we also offer evidence that how evaluations are implemented matters, and that evaluations facilitate performance information use by reducing the causal uncertainty that managers face as they try to make sense of what performance data mean.


  • Series: La Follette School Working Paper No. 2017-002
  • Authors: Alex Kroll, Florida International University; Don Moynihan, La Follette School of Public Affairs

Download PDF