The politics and practice of urban policy evaluation

B. Murtagh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


As the state increasingly embraces the community and voluntary sectors in coping with spatial change, urban policy has become more difficult to disentangle and evaluate. This paper is concerned with two valid, but different, interpretations of policy evaluation. 'Instrumental' techniques have been primarily concerned with performance measures and indicators of efficiency in public spending. 'Interpretative' approaches have stressed the need to explore power relationships, impact of policy on community competencies and self-learning. The paper uses a case study of evaluation of urban policy in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland to show how specific techniques can reconcile this duality in evaluation design. It concludes by reflecting on the importance and power of knowledge for communities involved in urban regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalCommunity Development Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 08 Aug 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development


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