Hellmut Wollmann

Development of Evaluation and Evaluation Research in Germany

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART102237

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In discussing the development of evaluation and evaluation research in this article the distinction is made between an initial and a consolidation phase. The former setting off in the late 1960s is linked with the expansion of reform policies in which, under the conceptual influence of the related development in the USA, evaluation has been introduced as a procedure of analysis and “feedback” on goal attainment and on the effects of political programmes and measures, in part connected with the claim of a ‘scientification’ of policymaking (‘experimental policies’). Due to the emergence of evaluation research as (external) ‘contractual research’ the traditional research ‘landscape’ shaped by university-based ‘basic’ research, and the relation between the political world and the ‘scientific community’ have been profoundly changed. In the ‘consolidation phase’ the further development has been significantly impacted by New Public Management-inspired political and administrative modernisation and the systematic evaluation required by the European Union for its structural funds. The progressive institutionalisation and professionalisation of evaluation research is evidenced by the foundation of the (German) Evaluation Society (DeGEval) in 1997 and of the (German language) Journal of Evaluation (Zeitschrift für Evaluation) in 2002.

Reform Policy, Effects of Political Programs, ‘Scientification’ of Policymaking, External Contractual Research