Theory, Practise and Quality Assurance
Evaluating Sustainable Development series
Edited by Anneke von Raggamby and Frieder Rubik
Frieder Rubik, Anneke von Raggamby and Anna Hirschbeck ___________________________________________________ WHY IS THE BOOK TMELY AND RELEVANT? In times of financial crises and pressure to justify public spending, evaluation of projects, programmes and policies increases. Among these evaluations, sustainable development, which has become a socially and politically widely accepted concept throughout Europe, ought to be included to a greater extent. The European Union has not only integrated sustainable development into its objectives in Article 3 (3) of the Treaty on European Union but has also invited its Member States to draw up their own national sustainable development strategies at the Gothenburg European Council. In addition, the recent nuclear disaster in Japan has served as an additional stimulus to promote sustainable development. The evaluation of social and ecological impacts of policies should therefore play an increasing role in evaluation to reflect these accepted social issues. The idea of sustainability evaluations is far from new, and the field has existed for many years. It is, therefore, an appropriate time to step back and take stock. This is not only due to the above mentioned reasons but also because, in practice, it has proven a challenge for sustainability evaluations to equally address all dimensions of sustainable development. Moving from evaluations that are focused on specific areas (for example environmental or economic impacts) towards more integrated sustainability assessments and evaluations continues to be necessary. This need is broadly acknowledged in policy evaluation research and practice. BACKGROUND OF THE GENESIS OF THIS BOOK This book has been...