Programs need to: work better for the individuals served, assure that tax dollars are wisely spent, and achieve the aims set for them by elected representatives. This report to Congress on Performance Improvement continues the transition to a more strategic and analytic presentation of evaluation studies. With the implementation of a unified Strategic Plan, as required by the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the Department recognizes its responsibility both to evaluate programs and to assure that evaluation funds are targeted to address the core goals and objectives the Congress and Executive branch seek. This re-engineering of management practice underscores the important role of evaluations’ potential to test, weigh, measure and judge the success of management performance, program outputs, and social outcomes.
Evaluations play an integral role in carrying out the DHHS mission. Assessing various aspects of agency functioning allows staff to identify means of improving individual program performance. DHHS evaluations directly support: (1) helping government officials and members of the Congress make decisions related to programs, policies, budgets, and strategic planning; (2) enabling managers improve program operations and performance; and (3) disseminating evaluation results and methodological tools useful to the larger health and human services community of state and local officials, researchers, advocates, and practitioners for improving the performance of their programs.