Planning Analysis:
Qualitative/Quantitative Research and Measurement Concepts/Evaluation Criteria

Three Categories of Qualitative Methods

  1. Study of Built Form - qualitative methods can be used to document the impact of physical structures on people. This can include attitudes on the aesthetic quality of physical development.
  2. Study of Human Interaction - Two types of techniques can be used (1) observations; and (2) interviews
  3. Study of Planning Process and Organization Structures - can focus on citizen involvement for goal setting, alternative development, assessment, prediction, and forecasting using a wide variety of techniques - SWOT, Delbecq, Impass, etc.

Measurement Validity

Indicator is a valid measure of a concept if it accurately measures the concept it is intended to measure. If a indicator contains little error it is valid.

Types of measurement validity:

Measurement Reliability

An indicator is reliable if it consistently assigns the same numbers to some phenomenon. For example, if you were to measure the effectiveness of the police force two different times and arrive at the same value, the indicator would be considered reliable.

Another way to define reliability is that if the values obtained are not affected by who performed the measurement, or by any other factors, then the indicator is considered reliable.

Indicators of Reliability

Measurement Scales

Hierarchy of Measurement


Measurement of Central Tendency

Level of Measurement




Ratio X X X
Interval X X X
Ordinal X X  
Nominal X    


Evaluation Criteria

a. This is a key step in application of the rational model

b. In short....what measures or standards are we going to use to evaluate alternative policies....operationalize definitions

c. Objectives, criteria and measures

d. Example: Efficient transportation system (objective)......Cost (criteria).....NPV (measure)

Typical critera

1. Technical feasibility

Effectiveness: Measures whether a policy or program has its intended effect

Adequacy: measures whether a policy or program fully meets its stated objectives

2. Economic and Financial Possibility

Costs/Benefits: Measures whether the anticiapted costs outweigh the benefits of a policy or program


3. Political Viability

Measures whether the alternative is acceptable or can be made acceptable to relevant groups

Acceptability = to actors, or are they receptive to new policies

Appropriateness - does it mesh with peoples values

Responsiveness - will the program meet the target groups needs

Legal - is it within existing law

Equity - is it fair

4. Administrative Operability


Institutional committment


Organizational support

5. Externatilities

6. Others?  ... In part depends on data available...time...budget...will...role

Good Criteria Are...

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This page maintained by Bob Parker, 2002
October 07, 2003