Philosophies and Types Of Evaluation Research

Philosophies and Types Of Evaluation Research

A study on the philosophies, approaches and types of evaluation research.

Funding period

2002 — 2002


The European Centre for Vocational Education and Training (CEDEFOP)



Study on the philosophies, approaches and types of evaluation research.

Until quite recently, evaluation thinking has been centred in North America. Only over the last ten years have we seen the growth and spread of evaluation in Europe. This has been associated with a significant expansion of evaluations supported by the European Union (EU), especially in relation to Structural Funds (European Commission, 1999), and the establishment of evaluation societies at Member State and European levels. There has also been the beginnings of a tradition of evaluation publishing in Europe, including the emergence of a major new evaluation journal edited for the first time from a European base and with a high proportion of European content.

Many factors account for the growth in evaluation activities in Europe in recent years (Leeuw et al., 1999; Rist et al., 2001; Toulemonde, 2001). These include both structural and management considerations. Expenditure pressures, both at national and European level, have increased demands for improved performance and greater effectiveness within the public sector. Furthermore, public action is becoming increasingly more complex both in terms of the goals of programmes and policies and the organisational arrangements through which they are delivered.

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