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Appendix. Recommendations for mid-range impact assessments

Appendix. Recommendations for mid-range impact assessments

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17.



A REVIEW OF IMPACT ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGIES FOR MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT



11. Incorporate plans for IA into programme design and implementation as

early as possible.

12. Measure direction of change where exact change cannot be estimated.

13. Build local capacity to conduct IA, both internal and external to the

organisation.



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ISBN 92-64-01708-9

Evaluating Local Economic and Employment Development

How to Assess What Works among Programmes and Policies

© OECD 2004



Chapter 18



An Overview of the Panel Discussion:

Evaluating Local Economic

and Employment Development

by

Alice Nakamura,

Faculty of Business, University of Alberta,

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada



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AN OVERVIEW OF THE PANEL DISCUSSION



A



listair Nolan of the OECD/LEED Secretariat introduced the final panel

debate. The initial questions he posed were: “What is the current state of

government commitment to evaluation? Does the present situation need to be

improved on? If so, how?” Nolan said that the debate should focus primarily

on practical and policy problems associated with evaluation projects. He said

the panelists had been asked to each give opening remarks, and that after that

he would open the session for questions. The ensuing debate served to

illustrate the importance of a number of the technical and policy issues raised

in the other conference presentations.

Edward W. Hill, a professor at Cleveland State University in the United

States, led off by outlining what he saw as key themes for the debate:







The definition of a local economic development policy and its outcomes.







The differences between process and summative evaluations and ways in

which each of these were helpful when running programs versus when

thinking about the causal structure of programs.



The problems associated with the fact that local evaluations are not

usually done at the local level.

Hill pointed out that employment policy and economic development are

different. He called attention to the challenge of distinguishing labor policy

from labor investment, and development spending activities from financial

investment in a community context. He felt that more attention should be

paid to whether policies had to do with the demand or the supply side of the

economy. He also argued against treating labor policy as simply an instrument

of economic development. From an economic development perspective, he

saw firm profitability as a problematic measure that primarily reflected

accounting and national tax code considerations. He cited the Enron disaster

as an indication of some of the shortcomings of focusing on firm profitability.

He suggested that firm survival rates and product innovation measures that

took account of the product life cycle might provide a better basis for

producing indicators that would be helpful for economic development

purposes. He argued also that income and employment growth measures

should be given more prominence in local economic development planning

since these reflect the equilibrium of demand and supply in markets.

The Rt. Hon. Henry B. McLeish, a Member of the Scottish Parliament and

former First Minister of Scotland, was the next to speak. He noted what he saw



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