This handbook puts the evaluation of public policy into its democratic context. The first section presents how evaluation relates to policy design, law-making, performance-auditing, and policy learning. The second section questions how evaluation fosters public participation, strengthens governance and enhances democracy. It focuses on the contribution that participatory and deliberative evaluations offer to reduce social inequalities. The third section examines how policy evaluation has been institutionalized in national political systems, the European Union and International Organizations. It also reviews the building of evaluation capacities within NGOs and developing countries. The fourth section brings behavioural public policy in the evaluation literature and assesses whether evaluation is reinforced by “nudge units” that systematically use randomized controlled trials. It also looks at the transformation of evaluation practice through digitalization and Artificial Intelligence. Finally, it discusses the impacts of street-level bureaucrats on policy outputs delivery and the non-take up of policy benefits by citizens.

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