eu consultation on evaluation November 12, 2013Posted by Bradley in : consultation , trackback
The EU Commission seeks input on its consultation on evaluation by February 25, 2014. The document explains that a part of the purpose of evaluation is about transparency:
EU stakeholders and citizens have a right to ask the Commission to give an account of what was done and achieved, not least because tax payers’ money is being used to develop and fund the various interventions. This entitles citizens, stakeholders and parliamentarians to hold the administration to account and to see more clearly whether previous promises have materialised and if not what the likely reasons were and what aspects deserve special attention. Transparency can also help to increase trust, as institutions that are transparent and self-critical tend to be more trusted than institutions which do not produce realistic and objective, detailed and full assessments of the performance of their actions. By publishing evaluation findings, the Commission is publicly taking responsibility for its actions, acknowledging how an intervention is performing and inviting further feedback.
There’s a caution in the document about relying on stakeholder views:
It is important to understand that evaluation should not be based only on stakeholder views. It always implies a careful analysis of stakeholders’ arguments and a double-checking against the arguments of other stakeholder groups and, where possible, against information from independent third parties or official statistics. To capture the “end-user perspective” in an evaluation, it needs to be carefully checked whether to rely on data and arguments by organised stakeholder groups at national or European level is sufficient, or whether it would be better to reach out directly to final beneficiaries or end-users (by interviewing a representative sample of individuals – consumers, farmers, travellers, students, business owners, etc.) which we hoped would benefit from a policy or have had to bear its cost. Likewise, quantitative data should always be complemented with and double-checked against qualitative information from other sources (interviews, etc.). This means for instance that an evaluation should not just present an econometric model, its results and limitations, but should always seek to get further confirmation by asking stakeholders in how far and why the results make sense to them.