The constitutive effects of evaluation systems: Lessons from the policymaking process of Danish Active Labour Market Policies

In recent years, evaluation research has taken an increasing interest in the proliferation of evaluation systems. One of the main assumptions being that such evaluation systems can enhance the use of evaluations and their findings. The current article analyses this assumption by empirically studying the workings of a specific evaluation system within the Danish Ministry of Employment. By applying the concept of constitutive effects, the article analyses how the evaluation system affects processes of policymaking within the central government. It is shown how the institutionalisation of an evidence-based evaluation system, at the ministerial level, structures the process of policymaking around a specific understanding of policy content, timeframes and expertise. Based on these findings, it is argued that evaluation systems can both enhance the instrumental use of evaluations and significantly alter policymaking processes.


Author(s) N.A. Andersen
Language English
Year of publication Sep, 2019
Journal Evaluation
Volume, Number 25, 4
Page(s) 18
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