Sustainable Development, Evaluation and Policy-Making
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Sustainable Development, Evaluation and Policy-Making

Theory, Practise and Quality Assurance

  • Evaluating Sustainable Development series

Edited by Anneke von Raggamby and Frieder Rubik

This pathbreaking book contributes to the discourse of evidence-based policy-making. It does so by combining the two issues of policy evaluation and sustainable development linking both to the policy-cycle.
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Chapter 3: Should Evaluation be Revisited for Sustainable Development?

Wolfgang Meyer

Extract

3. Should Evaluation be Revisited for Sustainable Development? ___________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION At the 2009 Copenhagen Summit, the world decided to let the Maldives and several other small island states drown with only a few brave words to comfort them. The climate conference, which widely ignored climate change because it costs money, showed once again how far away the global society is from taking sustainable development and its main challenge – quite simply to save this planet – seriously. Having invested millions of millions of public Dollars, Euros, Yens, Icelandic Kroner, Hungarian Forints and other currencies for stabilising the so called ‘private’ finance sector without any repayment expected, global leaders are not willing to do this even on a minor scale to stop – or at least reduce – the fatal impact human action is having on this planet. In particular the Japanese must now pay the price after natural catastrophes accompanied by technological hazards, changed major parts of their country into destroyed, hazardous areas. It is neither a question of scientific knowledge nor of complexity: If one takes a look at climate change, it becomes evident that the task at hand is simply the reduction of CO2 emissions. Hardly anybody denies its importance nowadays. This may cause many to seriously doubt science’s ability to influence policy making by scientific argumentation. Why then do we need evaluation? Defined as ‘applied social research, which is intended to make a contribution to solving practical social-political problems by endeavouring purposively and systematically to provide bases for non-scientific decision-making processes’ (Stockmann...

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