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Abstract

The author analyzes the growth and nature of internal evaluation from the 1960s to the present and suggests that internal evaluation has been on the increase because of its perceived importance. Although the 1960s were characterized by a rich intellectual development of evaluation theory and practice, the fiscal conservatism of the 1980s ushered in evaluation practice focused more specifically on cost effectiveness. During that time, internal evaluation began to increase. In the 1990s this trend continued and was intensified by the reinvention of government known as the New Public Management. The author argues that in this results-oriented neoliberal context, evaluation is maintained as an internal function, but focuses primarily on descriptive accounts of performance. The chapter concludes with some speculation about the nature of future internal evaluation. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc., and the American Evaluation Association.