Street Level Evaluation: an innovative approach to the analysis of public policies - Street Level Evaluation of social services is a particular approach in the study and evaluation of public services which is gaining more and more appreciation in professional communities. It is based on the assumption that Street Level Bureaucrats have a crucial role in the implementation of social services/projects/policies and states that this role, far from being an obstacle, is a creative and an active one. The Street Level Evaluation formula includes a direct observation technique, a participatory evaluation process and a peculiar attention for the practitioner’s strategies, according to the assumption that policies is something people make. There are different factors we were able to catch thanks to this approach, and they regard basically those aspect of the social work that can’t be found in documents and declarations. First of all, organisational aspects about the informal division of labour influence very much the quality of the service. Then, the strategies social workers put in action to bear with the clients’ requests highlighted the use of discretion this workers often do. We considered this discretion as a "neutral" component of the policy and we were able to make clear how this consideration could help build better evaluation design.
Keywords: Street Level Evaluation, discretion, evaluation design