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Politics or Science – Evaluation and the Case of Urban Renewal

  • Verner Denvall
Publiceringsår: 2000
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag

Abstract english

In the first part I discuss general problems of program-evaluation. In spite of a lot of problems concerning the practice of evaluation it is becoming more and more popular in programs with ambitions to develop social change. This development rise important issues concerning the relation between politics and science as well as about the methods, the value-criteria and the theories that are in use. Even if there is a great deal of uncertainty it is now being suggested that different modes of evaluation should replace activities of planning. An important reason seems to be the rising demands on quality and efficiency that meets organizations within the public sector.

In the second part of the paper I apply this discussion on an evaluation of the outer-city project where the city of Stockholm the last years has spent more than 500 mil. Swedish crowns on renewal in 13 suburbs. The evaluation tries to answer questions about the need for the program, the programs conceptualization and design, its implementation and outcomes as well as the programs cost and efficiency. Even if the results, or should I say the lack of results, are interesting I will concentrate on what there is to learn from the case of this evaluation. Is it for example possible to evaluate goals in a program with a great deal of goal drift? How do you deal with reports from the program if they are very unreliable? And in what respect is the evaluation used by the stakeholders? This part of the paper is a meta-analysis of an evaluation that was finished in October last year.

In the last section I discuss the demands and big expectations that now are rising in Sweden where the state invests 3 billion Swedish crowns in a big program trying to restore problematic suburbs in 7 cities. In each one of these there are expectations that evaluations should help to implement politics. Around 3 % of the budget should be used on evaluation. I argue that it is necessary to solve a couple of important questions: what will be the relationship between the evaluator and the stakeholders? How will these evaluations concern issues of democracy and participation, theory and other essential aspects?


  • Social Work


Verner Denvall
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