Making use of evaluations to support a transition towards a more sustainable energy system and society-an assessment of current and potential use among Swedish state agencies

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Abstract

Evaluations hold the potential to support decision-making so that current global challenges related to climate and energy can be addressed; however, as the challenges are becoming increasingly large and complex, new and transformative evaluation approaches are called for. Such transformative evaluation in turn builds on an extended and more deliberate use of evaluations. This study focuses on the current evaluation use practices among Swedish state agencies who are commissioning and/or conducting evaluations within climate and energy-related areas. Building on focus group sessions with four agencies and a structured interview questionnaire answered by representatives at five state agencies, the results shed light on how informants perceive the current practices of using evaluations, following the models of use presented in the evaluation literature. These results show perceived use as mainly instrumental or conceptual, along with showing an overall emphasis on models of use that are deemed constructive for moving towards transformative evaluations. The results also outline key benefits and challenges related to the adoption of a transformative evaluation approach. Such benefits include a more structured planning and use of evaluations, while challenges relate to institutional barriers and mandates to coordinate evaluations on a transformative scale.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

Keywords

  • Climate, Energy, Evaluation use, Models of use, Transition
Original languageEnglish
Article number8241
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes