US Government Looking for “Rigor” in Evaluation
One particular line resonated with me: “Attract and retain talented researchers in an office with standing within the agency.” Does this mean the Ph.D.s like me who are on the job market (where things are admittedly bleak) might actually land something — albeit working for the government and not the beautiful ivory towers about which we still dream? Seriously though, much as I think the work I do is important and that my training in how to identify causal relationships is valued, I don’t know that I want every agency in the government to be funded to do the same. Rather, I’d want the great majority of my tax dollars going to actually “doing” something rather than measuring how well something is done. Especially if the folks “doing” and the folks “measuring” are in the same office, we’re setting it up for one employee to blow the whistle on another’s poor performance. That might save us some tax dollars in the end, but I’d hate to play on that department’s softball team. Couldn’t we just have one agency that specialized in evaluating, or hire some external auditors on short term contracts?