Evaluation is a very important instrument for supporting the governance of modern societies. It delivers not only independently produced scientific results for decision makers but also tries to include the different viewpoints of stakeholders in a fair and just way into the decision making processes. As an outcome of this, evaluation helps to control social programs more effectively and efficiently, justifying as well the usage of common resources for these activities and measures.
While modern societies are fast developing, the role of evaluation and its challenges are changing too. During the last decade, many new institutions, organizations, and companies were founded on behalf of the development of evaluation theories, approaches and methods. By following the Northern American societies, this institutionalization and professionalization process can be seen not only in almost all European countries but also in several forerunner states in Latin America, Africa and Asia. As one result of this development, evaluation must be seen as a global issue with an increasing diversity of tasks and efforts.
This conference aims to offer an overview on the state-of-the-art and some of the key challenges for the next decade of evaluation research. On the first day, two keynote speakers will highlight the most important issues and critical aspects both from a scientific as well as from a political viewpoint. As one example of the challenges, the tensions between scientific standards of independent research and the participatory claim of stakeholder involvement in governance processes will be discussed by experts on a panel. The task of the second day is to offer some perspectives how these challenges of changing modern societies can be managed by evaluation research. Speakers from different countries and background are asked for sharing their experiences and opinions on solutions for improving the quality of evaluation within decision making processes in modern societies. Finally, some evaluators will present examples of up-to-date evaluations and their contribution to improve development in variety of nation states.