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Grantmaker Farewell

(Tune: Jamaica Farewell)

Down to NIJ
I send a grant one day
‘Bout how my family violence treatment program’s really great
And they said, “OK, Joe
We’ll give you lots of dough
But to keep it you must promise to EVALUATE.”

            And now I’m sad as heck
I’m finding no effect
And I fear that NIJ will send me no more check
So I go down the hall
To my consultant Paul
He say, “Don’t worry, man, it’s only that your N’s too small.”

So I shake the trees
Find 13 agencies
Who all agree to try my program if I pay the freight
And so we grow and add
And we recruit like mad
And of subjects now I’ve got two hundred forty-eight.

            But  I am sad as heck
There still is no effect
And I think my program’s heading for one big train wreck
But Paul, he say to me,
"Oh man, I disagree.
Your only   problem is you lack program fidelity."

And so we trim, revise
And ma-ma manualize
Just to get all our components into tip-top shape
And then we test and train
Until the staff complain
And we capture every word they say on videotape.

            But I’m sad as heck
Still we have no effect
My staff are all about to hang me by the neck
But my consultant’s wise
He give me good advice
He say now what you need  to do is meta-analyze.

And so I comb Psychlit
Until I have to quit
And then I dig up dissertations  in old libraries
And I search far and wide
Until my brain is fried
From converting all those r’s and chi-squares into d’s.

            Well now, it’s quite complex
We did find some effects
But then they disappear when we control for age and sex
Is this just too arcane
A finding to explain?
But Paul’s already pouring out the warm champagne.

So on that very day
I call up NIJ
And I tell them all our findings, well ... the happy ones
But oh I’m sad to say
They cut me anyway
Because they’re only funding research now on drugs and guns.

            So I’ll tell you straight
No matter just how great
You’ll waste your good sweet time if you evaluate
Put all your energy
Into publicity
And I think you will end up much better off than me!

            ....Energy into publicity
I think you will end up much better off than me
....Take it straight, no matter just how great
You’ll waste your good sweet time if you evaluate.