Effectiveness of public legal assistance services: A discussion paper

This paper provides an introduction to the process of evaluating legal assistance services and strategies, that is, how effective are the outcomes of these activities? The authors define effectiveness, outline the importance of measuring whether a legal program has achieved its intended goal, and describe how the results can inform practice. They describe how to choose a research methodology to assess effectiveness and also mentionthe barriers to conducting effectiveness evaluations such as resources, expertise, or lack of funding. Cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis are also briefly covered. The paper concludes that a detailed outcome-based evaluation framework for legal assistance services is necessary, using a quantitative research design with appropriate sampling and controls.A list of resources on evaluating outcomes is included at the end.