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View the PDF document Evaluation recommendations : what works?
Author: Sharma, Navneet
Institution: University of Melbourne.
Award: M.A.
Subject: Auditors' reports, Performance evaluation
Date: 2004.
Call No.: pac HF 5667 .6 .S47 2004
BRN: 1020056
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: This is an exploratory study, which aims at gaining a better understanding of the characteristics of effective recommendations and how these characteristics affect utilisation. Recommendations under scrutiny were selected from four performance audit reports made by the Victorian Auditor General's Office (VAGO). Despite the importance and potential in increasing the use of evaluation findings, recommendations have received little attention from evaluators and evaluation researchers. The gap in the literature with regards to what clients look for in evaluation recommendations prompted this study. A qualitative research design involving a case study approach was considered appropriate for this research since it had the capacity to provide a considerable amount of descriptivi data. Feedback from the audited agencies were first analysed to ascertain the acceptance rate of the recommendations from each report. A taxonomy of recommendations was then developed. Subsequently, document analysis and interviews were conducted with staff from audited agencies and VAGO to determine why recommendations were accepted (or rejected). Issues that emerged from the data collected were drawn together to highlight the overall strengths and weaknesses of VAGO's recommendations, and to deduce the characteristics of effective recommendations. Furthermore, this research highlights the role played by the types of recommendations, quality of recommendations and efforts of the evaluator in influencing acceptance and utilisation. The thesis concludes by presenting a recommendation utilisation theory, which postulates how the characteristics of recommendations influence their acceptance and utilisation.
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