Program Monitoring and Evaluation: Tools for Measuring the Performance of Federal Policy Agencies

COLLEGE PARK, MD—May 16, 2011—Donald Malcolm Smith, a doctoral candidate in the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore, presented his dissertation, “Program Monitoring and Evaluation: Tools for Measuring the Performance of Federal Policy Agencies” at an Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) Brown Bag on Wednesday, May 4.

Mr. Smith identified the challenges in measuring the performance of policy agencies, and assessed related evaluation-based solutions within the context of Government Performance Results Act (GRPA) of 1993, as amended. He specifically pointed out that the GRPA’s structure and the motivations of executive leadership, like influences on bureaucratic decision making, presented challenges in measuring performance on the federal level. After examining the experiences of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), he concluded that the department was able to confront challenges by using logic modeling that allows executive leadership to assemble annually and meet political needs and regulatory requirements.



Donald Malcolm Smith


Mr. Smith is a Program Specialist in the Center for Program Planning and Results, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, U.S. Department of Labor. He possesses 16 years of work experience in the development and management of family service and workforce development programs, and performance budgeting for government and nonprofits.  Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Policy, Planning and Evaluation in the Center for Urban Families, located in Baltimore, Maryland.


Optimal Solutions Group, LLC


Founded in 2000, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC is a nonpartisan public policy research and technical assistance firm that stands out through its quantitative expertise and innovative approaches to provide rigorous, data-driven research and technical assistance to government agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic foundations. Located at the University of Maryland’s M Square Research Park in College Park, Optimal is a leader in driving real-time public policy research. Optimal has 60+ employees including multidisciplinary researchers with backgrounds in business, communication, economics, education, health policy, psychology, public policy, sociology, statistics, and urban planning. Optimal has four research centers: Health, Education, Housing, and Workforce Development and Social Policy.