The evaluation of social policy began in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s, and reached the UK by the early 1970s (Everitt and Hardiker 1996:42-43) by which time British social policy was focused on Beveridge's 'Welfare State' (Jones 1991:134). The term 'evaluation' has many definitions (Alkin 1990:81-3), but for the purposes of this essay, I will use Patton's broad definition of evaluation as 'any effort to increase human effectiveness through systematic data-based inquiry' (1990:11). Evaluation research
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