Purposes and criteria in network governance evaluation: How far does standard evaluation vocabulary takes us?
2012 (English)In: Evaluation, ISSN 1356-3890, E-ISSN 1461-7153, Vol. 18, no 1, 25-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Evaluation and network governance are both among the top-10 trendy concepts in public policy. But how are they related? In the present article, we ask how public sector interventions guided by a network governance doctrine are to be evaluated. If evaluation means systematic judgment of organization, content, administration, outputs and effects in public policy, then evaluators need concepts and analytical tools to assess these features and communicate their analyses. In the literature, interest in network modes of governance often goes together with a call for a renewed vocabulary for evaluation and policy analysis. In the article, we do not take this to be a fact. Instead we turn it into a question: How relevant and productive are established concepts and tools of evaluation theory for evaluating network governance? More specifically, we address the issues of purposes and merit criteria in evaluation of interventions fashioned according to the network governance doctrine. Though it takes some elaboration, our overall conclusion is that at least some standard evaluation concepts and approaches are still productive in delineating, analysing and prescribing how network governance can be evaluated. There are crucial accountability issues to raise, the goal-achievement criterion is not irrelevant and the meaning of stakeholder evaluation is elucidated when confronted with the ideas of the network governance doctrine.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 18, no 1, 25-44 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-174074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-174074DiVA: diva2:526255