Theory, Practise and Quality Assurance
- Evaluating Sustainable Development series
Edited by Anneke von Raggamby and Frieder Rubik
Chapter 12: Quality Requirements for Sustainability Evaluations
Anneke von Raggamby, Frieder Rubik, Doris Knoblauch and Rebecca Stecker ___________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION Since its inception in the 1960s, evaluation research and its practical application have become increasingly widespread. This was recently confirmed by Stockmann (2010, p. 35), who observed a clear increase in the use of this type of evaluation in most European countries as well as in European institutions. The same is true for impact assessments, whose application experienced a large increase due to the European Commission’s Impact Assessment system1 (see Table 12.1 for the description of characteristic features of evaluation and impact assessment). This increase of evaluation in the environmental and sustainability context2 is remarkable and even contributes to new governance models (‘governance by evaluation’; see Galla et al. 2008). In response to these developments, a number of evaluation standards3 were introduced for quality assurance in this field. However, these standards fail to consider sustainable development or highlight environmental and sustainable issues in the context of evaluation. Our hypothesis is that the numerous challenges sustainability evaluations face4 necessitate evaluation requirements that complement existing standards, provide guidance and help to ensure quality. In this respect, we intend to increase evaluators’ and their clients’ awareness of both the nature and scope of sustainability evaluations. For this chapter, a review and comparison of existing principles and evaluation standards were performed in order to develop a better understanding and provide insight into establishing requirements for sustainability evaluations. On this basis, a set of quality requirements for sustainability evaluations was developed in order to...
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