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The beginnings of U.S. federal evaluation research can, in descriptive historical terms, be located in McNamara's Department of Defense and the later requirement that all federal government agencies adopt a Planning, Programming, Budgeting System. While the formal PPB system was discontinued in 1971, the analytical or policy evaluation activities it required, still live on, especially in agencies dealing with human resource development and/or social welfare programs (Schick, 1973, Wholey, et al, 1970). Given the recent advocacy of increasing and improving federal evaluation efforts, I think it important to examine some of the assumptions and consequences of those assumptions of the general evaluation research model, particularly in regard to anti-poverty policies.

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