Can we use deliberation to change evaluation systems? How an advisory group contributed to policy change

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One of the most dominant trends in the field of evaluation in recent years is the institutionalization of evaluation under headlines such as “evaluation culture,” “evaluation policy,” and “evaluation systems.” There has been less interest in how evaluation systems can be changed, modified, or improved, not to mention deinstitutionalized, if necessary. Can a variety of stakeholders deliberate about the consequences of an evaluation system, and can it lead to policy change? A case study of a ministerial advisory group on national tests in Denmark shows how specific challenges were dealt with, such as the design of the deliberative process, the potential dominance of experts, and the distinction between technical-evaluative and practical-political arguments, and how these maneuvers paved the way for policy change. Based on the case study, the article discusses the prospects for democratic deliberation about evaluation systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEvaluation: The International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)144-160
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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