Continuous Evaluation of Policies

Evaluation represents a separate stage in the policy cycle, but has to be pointed out as an own need in public administration. Evaluation decides whether a policy will be finished, modified and/or continued. At the same time, it can inform about results and consequences (intended and not intended). Only if policies are evaluated, potential improvement will be identified and at best implemented. In this context, it should be emphasised that a policy is never completed and is always evolving. This makes a qualitative and regular evaluation essential. The relevance of this need could also be validated in the interview with a researcher of administrative science.

Although the circular form of the policy cycle indicates it, evaluation does not only take place after the implementation process. Instead, it should be considered before and after every single step all along the cycle.[1][2]

 

[1] Jann, W., Wegrich, K. (2007), Theories of the Policy Cycle, in: Fischer F./  Miller, G. J./ Sidney, M. S.(ed.),  Handbook of Public Policy Analysis. Theory, Politics and Methods, Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, 43-62, DOI: 10.1201/9781420017007.pt2.
[2] Höchtl, J., Parycek, P., Schöllhammer, R. (2016), Big data in the policy cycle: Policy decision making in the digital era, Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, 26(1-2), 147-169,  https://doi.org/10.1080/10919392.2015.1125187

 

Type of content: Needs
Type of need: Strategical need

Comments

What methodologies are most relevant for digital policy?

It would be good for users to be able to see to which domains each need corresponds.

Evaluations can provide feedback, help to learn new things and improve the public policies. However, there are also some challenges related to evaluations that must not be ignored. Regular evaluations are desirable, but it is important to establish that there is no mere ritualisation. In this case, the evaluation would only be an end in itself and would not provide any significant added value. On the other hand, evaluations can be used in the sense of a blame game.  It must therefore be ensured that evaluations emasure what is to be measured and that their results are not misused for other purposes.  

We are working on this issue. Soon, it will be possible to see for which policy domain certain need or trend is relevant.