AbstractIn the Republic of Ireland, as in many other countries, sheltered workshops form part of care services offered to people with disability. This paper explores the problems of definition that surround any study of workshops both in respect of what they are intended to achieve, and the people whom they are intended to serve.
The underlying philosophy that decided on sheltered workshops as a care model in the Republic of Ireland is examined and the legal and social infrastructure that exists with its shortcomings are suggested. Ways in which the performance of these workshops may be evaluated are discussed. The paper explores data envelopment analysis (DBA) as a method of measuring the relative efficiency of twelve sheltered workshops. This is compared with results obtained using traditional financial management ratios.
Both methods suggest that a significant variation exists between the efficiency of these workshops resulting in scope for savings in state subsidies or for providing additional employment places. It is suggested that DBA offers a consistent and helpful "intermediate technology" for assessing performance with advantages over traditional methods. However, the principal difficulty to which DBA gives rise is the selection of relevant environmental variants.
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- Sheltered workshops
- People with disabilities
- Republic of Ireland
- data envelopment analysis (DEA)