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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T1 - 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

AU - Sandin, Sofie

PY - 2020/10

Y1 - 2020/10

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Climate

KW - Energy

KW - Evaluation use

KW - Models of use

KW - Transition

U2 - 10.3390/su12198241

DO - 10.3390/su12198241

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85092665305

VL - 12

JO - Sustainability

JF - Sustainability

SN - 2071-1050

IS - 19

M1 - 8241

ER -