L'évaluation des politiques publiques en Europe: Cultures et Futurs // Policy and programme evaluation in Europe: Cultures and Prospects pages:133-142
There is a growing consensus in the evaluation community on the necessity of a mature evaluation capacity in the light of good governance. However, the little attention to the relationship between evaluation capacity and evaluation culture, constitutes a real gap in literature.
Quite some research is oriented to examine the dimensions of evaluation capacity or to grasp the nature of an evaluation culture. But surprisingly, both discourses are seldom integrated. Different explanations may hold for this, varying from the conviction that both concepts mean the same, over a multitude of opinions on the content of these constructs blurring their differences, to the assumption that both variables develop independently from each other.
In this paper the authors aim to bring some clarity about the interrelationship of the two concepts. The following questions will be addressed. Does an evaluation capacity constitute a conditio sine qua non for the development of an evaluation culture? Or do we need to see evaluation culture rather as a prerequisite and capacity building as its exponent? Or do both phenomena presume other underlying determinants?
In a first step, the authors will explore the literature on efforts of conceptualization regarding both evaluation culture and evaluation capacity, and search for trends and commonalities. In particular, we will examine the indicators with which both phenomena are referred to.
By this exercise we want to explore and distil the degree of consensus on the respective characteristics of both elements. In a next step, we will extend the exploration to the position of evaluation culture and capacity vis-à-vis each other.
By exploring the theoretical meaning of the constructs and their translation into indicators, this paper intends to contribute to a better understanding of the conference’s subject and has specifically much ground in common with the thematic fora ‘institutionalisation’ and ‘standards and practices’. It aims also to contribute to the theory on capacity and culture in an evaluation context.