The Program Assessment Rating Tool and its Role in Evaluating the Effectiveness of U.S. Government Programs

  • Philip G. Joyce The George Washington University
  • Alice Levy The George Washington University


Over the past 50 years, the United States government has engaged in a number of efforts designed to focus on the results of federal agencies and programs.  Starting in the 1950s with “performance budgeting” and continuing through the 1960s and 1970s program budgeting and zero-based budgeting efforts, the goal of these has been a closer linkage between resources provided and results achieved.  In 1993, during the administration of President Bill Clinton, the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) was signed into law.  This act required federal agencies to engage in strategic planning, performance planning, and performance reporting.

Author Biographies

Philip G. Joyce, The George Washington University
Philip Joyce is Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University.
Alice Levy, The George Washington University
Alice Levy is a Ph.D. student in public policy and administration, specializing in public budgeting, at The George Washington University.