There is continual concern about the ability of governments to perform the duties and responsibilities that their citizens have come to expect from them. Many citizens view government as inept, arthritic, and dedicated to the preservation of the bureaucratic status quo. As we close the twentieth century, the challenge for democratic governments is to become adaptive, flexible, innovative, and creative. In short, they need to become learning organizations. This book explores what it will take for governments to break out of their traditional ways of approaching problems and learn new approaches to finding solutions. Can Governments Learn? examines organizational learning in the public sector. It seeks to understand the role policy and program evaluation information can play in helping governments learn. Among the democratic societies studied are Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States. Significantly, the studies documented here show that the concept of organizational learning has vitality and applicability cross-nationally. Can Governments Learn? evaluates preconditions for governmental learning as well as the institutional and human resource factors that contribute to the process. This volume in the Comparative Policy Analysis Series is essential for policymakers, government officials, and scholars interested in improving the performance of governments.

chapter |13 pages

Introduction Evaluation and Organizational Learning: International Perspectives

ByFrans L. Leeuw, Richard C. Sonnichsen

part I|72 pages

National Perspectives

chapter 1|27 pages

Utilizing Evaluation in Organizations: The Balancing Act

ByJohn Mayne

chapter 2|21 pages

Learning from Evaluations: The Swedish Experience

ByJan-Eric Furubo

part II|55 pages

Institutional Perspectives

chapter 4|17 pages

Organizational Learning at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management

ByJohn A. Leitch, Ray C. Rist

chapter 5|18 pages

Formative Evaluation and Organizational Learning: The Case of the Belgium Postal System

ByPhilippe Spaey, Fabienne Leloup

chapter 6|17 pages

Effective Internal Evaluation: An Approach to Organizational Learning

ByRichard C. Sonnichsen

part III|63 pages

When Do Governments Learn?

chapter 7|43 pages

Facilitating Organizational Learning: Human Resource Management and Program Evaluation

ByMarie Louise Bemelmans-Videc, Bjarne Eriksen, Edie N. Goldenberg

chapter 8|17 pages

The Preconditions for Learning: Lessons from the Public Sector

ByRay C. Rist