In the field of planning, it is in the middle of
1990’s that the planning-evaluation literature started paying attention to plan
content and the quality of plans and has also begun to consider the use of
plans and their implementation (Baer,1997, Laurian et. al, 2004). Since then,
western countries are increasingly adopting performance oriented and
productivity oriented management models for planning; making evaluation of plan
outcomes an essential part of planning practices (Mccoy and Hargie, 2001).
Based on the object of evaluation, the term plan evaluation has many
definitions. Planners use plan evaluation to mean anything from evaluating plan
alternatives to evaluating plan outcomes. Different authors have different
views regarding plan evaluation. William Baer (1997:330) identifies five
meanings of the term plan evaluation- based on who undertakes the evaluation,
at what point in the planning process and with what methods. According to him evaluations
include: (1) plan assessment (ensuring that the plan embodies its criteria);
(2) plan testing and evaluation (evaluating alternative ways to achieve a
plan’s goals); (3) plan critique (a subjective review of a plan by other
planners, similar to a movie review); (4) comparative research and professional
evaluation (comparing various plans, with or without considering outcomes); and
(5) post hoc evaluation of plan outcomes. Alexander (2006:7) on the other hand
has given definition of plan evaluation as – a priori, or ex-ante evaluation
which guides the selection of planning alternatives by comparing their expected
impacts. The evaluation literature also distinguishes between evaluating
outputs and outcomes, which are the impacts of these outputs (Vedung, 1997).
Outcome evaluation judges best management effectiveness; it attempts to
evaluate the outcomes of land use planning. There are wide array of factors
needed to be considered in outcome evaluation. There could be internal factors of
the plan affecting the implementation and hence outcomes of plans (e.g. its
quality) or external factors of the plan (e.g. the characteristics of the
planning agency and of local developers, the interactions between planning
staff and developers). Based on these factors, the research question can be
conceptually separated into four distinct sub-questions. First, is the degree
of implementation has some relation
with the quality of plan? That is, are good plans better implemented than weak
ones? Second, how characteristics of planning agencies, such as the capacity
and commitment of planning staff to implement the plan is affecting
implementation? Third, how is implementation affected by the characteristics of
developers and their consultants, such as their knowledge of the plan, their
commitment to policies in the plan and their capacity to implement appropriate
development techniques? Finally, how does the type of interaction between
developers and planning staff affect implementation? (Laurian et al 2004). All these questions can be answered if the content of
plan/ program and its preparation process is properly studied, analyzed and
evaluated as Laurian et al concluded (2010) that planning evaluation is a
systematic assessment of plans, planning processes and outcomes compared with
explicit standards or indicators

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