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Table 1 Multidimensional characteristics of policy success and failure (adapted from Howlett [6], drawing on McConnell [1, 2])

From: An analysis of policy success and failure in formal evaluations of Australia’s national mental health strategy (1992–2012)

Evaluative Measure Evidence of Success Evidence of Failure
Original objectives Objectives achieved Objectives not achieved
Target group impact Perceived positive impact Perceived negative impact
Results (i.e. outcomes) Problem improvement Problem worsening
Significance Important to act Failing to act
Source of support/opposition Key groups support Key groups oppose
Jurisdictional comparisons Leading or best practice Someone else is doing better elsewhere
Balance sheet Benefits outweigh costs Costs outweigh benefits
Level of innovation New changes Old response
Normative stance Right thing to do Wrong thing to do