Evaluační teorie a praxe
Ročník 5(2)


Learning from evaluation – the knowledge users' perspective

Karol Olejniczak, Tomasz Kupiec, Kathryn Newcomer



Public managers require different types of knowledge to run programs successfully. This includes knowledge about the context, operational know-how, knowledge about the effects, and causal mechanisms. This knowledge comes from different sources, and evaluation studies are just one of them.

This article takes the perspective of knowledge users. It explores to what extent evaluation is a useful source of knowledge for public managers of cohesion policy. Findings are based on an extensive study of 116 Polish institutions: surveys with 945 program managers, followed by 78 interviews with key policy actors. The article concludes that: (a) utility of evaluation studies, in comparison to other sources of knowledge, is limited, (b) evaluation reports are used to some extent as a source of knowledge on effects and mechanisms, however, (c) "effects" are shallowly interpreted as smooth money spending, not socio-economic change.

In conclusion, this article offers practical ideas on what evaluation practitioners could do to make evaluation more useful for knowledge users in policy implementation..

Karol Olejniczak, European Centre for Regional and Local Studies (EUROREG), University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland, k.olejniczak@uw.edu.pl

Tomasz Kupiec, Evaluation for Government Organizations s.c. (EGO s.c.), Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland, t.kupiec@evaluation.pl; Kathryn Newcomer, The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Admin-istration, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA, newcomer@gwu.edu

OLEJNICZAK, K., KUPIEC, T., NEWCOMER, K. (2017) „Learning from evaluation – the knowledge users' perspective“. Evaluační teorie a praxe 5(2): 49–74


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