PERL Mission Statement

The Program Evaluation Research Laboratory (PERL) is dedicated to helping human services maximize effectiveness and benefits, and minimize costs, through quantitative and qualitative analyses.

We endeavor to go beyond a summary statement of whether a program is or is not cost-effective or cost-beneficial: we seek quantitative as well as qualitative understanding of how the program can minimize the costs of achieving targeted levels of effectiveness and benefits. This understanding also can help the program maximize the effectiveness of services it can deliver within specified budget constraints. We further believe that measurement and analysis can be useful only when pursued from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders, including consumers, providers, and funders.

To optimize cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit in human service systems, we have developed a multi-disciplinary approach that blends theories and methodologies from psychology, education, and sociology with concepts from social economics and quantitative business practices. The result is an understanding of why services do or do not work, and how they can become more cost-effective or more cost-beneficial. This approach has become known as Cost-Procedure-Process-Outcome Analysis (CPPOA).

Rather than summarily judge the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit of a human service, we endeavor to help the program analyze, understanding, and systematically improve its own cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit. This formative evaluation approach is exemplified in the manual written by Dr. Brian Yates for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, available at the NIDA web site:

Inquiries should be directed to Brian T. Yates, Ph.D.

© Brian T. Yates 2017