Steve Jacob; The Institutionalization of Evaluation in Europe; 4 - 5 PM; Burkle 14
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Steve Jacob has been a professor in the Department of Political Science at Laval University (Québec City -Canada) since 2004. He is the director of the research laboratory on performance and evaluation (PerfEval). Trained as a political analyst and historian, he conducts research on the process of administration modernization, evaluation and the mechanisms of performance management in Canada and also in several countries of the OECD. The results of his research have been published in numerous journals. His most recent publication is: Pearl Eliadis, Jan-Eric Furubo & Steve Jacob (eds) (2011). Evaluation: Seeking Truth or Power. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers.
Synopsis: Evaluation is a well-established governance practice in many western democracies and is also employed in various international organizations. Empirical studies on the historical development of evaluation demonstrate that the diffusion of this policy tool depends upon the institutional, political and cultural peculiarities of a country, as well as its socioeconomic and budgetary conditions.
I conducted a qualitative study that examines the status of the institutionalization of evaluation in Belgium, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. These are four countries in which evaluation has developed at distinct moments, countries which possess very different levels of maturity in practice, and countries whose resulting institutional settings vary and have, in most cases, experienced evolutions. In summary, evaluation is a recent phenomenon in France and Switzerland (late 1980s, early 1990s) in comparison with the situation in the Netherlands where evaluation goes back further (late 1970s, early 1980s) and in relation to Belgium where evaluation has only since the mid-1990s begun to appear. I will share the results of this study, as well as briefly discuss the methodology of comparative research and tools (e.g. index, typology) as it might be used by scholars in different disciplines.