Program evaluation

Assessing the effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness of programs, policies or strategies to support evidence-based decision-making in the public sector.

The Western Australian Government is committed to delivering programs which provide value for money for the people of Western Australia. Evaluation is a key tool for facilitating efficient and effective delivery of government services through evidence based policy and decision making across the public sector.

In an environment of constrained public finances, it is essential that public funds are spent on activities that provide the greatest economic and social return.

To support a consistent approach to the evaluation of government funded programs, the Department of Treasury has developed the following resources:

  • Evaluation Guide 
  • Sunset Clause Guide 

Evaluation Guide

The Evaluation Guide is a resource developed for Western Australian Government agencies undertaking the evaluation of government funded programs.

Key features of the Guide are: 

  • the role and importance of conducting evaluations of public sector programs
  • a strategic approach to evaluation that prioritises evaluation and scales evaluations based on the characteristics of different sizes and types of programs
  • different types of evaluation and how they might be used
  • the five stages of evaluation:
    • scoping, consultation and agreement
    • plan evaluation
    • conduct evaluation
    • report and recommendations
    • implementation plan.

Sunset Clause Guide

From 1 January 2014, all new programs (or extensions of existing programs) that impact the State’s net operating balance by $5 million or more in any one financial year will be subject to a Sunset Clause.

For qualifying programs this means that a cessation date is applied to funding, an evaluation plan developed and a program evaluation is completed. The continuation of a program subject to a Sunset Clause beyond the cessation date is subject to consideration by Government, informed by the program evaluation.  

Further information is outlined in the Expenditure Review Committee (ERC) Handbook.

Page reviewed 20 February 2020