Revista Brasileira de Avaliação
Revista Brasileira de Avaliação
Experience report

Program evaluation of Juventud y Empleo (JE): A critical appraisal

Bernardo Menescal Ferreira da Silva

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Like the policies they purport to assess, evaluation itself has goals and can thus also be object of appraisal. By scrutinizing an evaluation, we gain insights into its applicability to actual decision-making, which might help curb premature excitement or disappointment with the results. Foremost, however, the critical review can provide guidance for evaluators seeking to refine their strategies. This essay presents a critical assessment of the 2011 evaluation study conducted by David Card et al. on the landmark Juventud y Empleo policy in the Dominican Republic. This is done, first, via a reconstruction of the implementation stages; second, the evaluation’s implicit logic model is made explicit; and, finally, we reflect on the quantitative analyses/controls employed. We find that the study shines in modelling participant attrition and quantitatively estimating the bias in (re)assignment. At the same time, we suggest (a) that the inclusion of logic models in published evaluations can boost transparency, reproducibility and support its assessment and (b) a better overview of implementation hurdles can provide a more adequate, context-sensitive frame within which to weight the effect sizes of the intervention.


Labor policy. Policy evaluation. Critical assessment


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