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Analysis of experience in the use of verifiable objectives

: Cunningham, P.N.; Georghiou, L.G.; Barker, K.E.; Kuhlmann, S.; Reger, G.; Marciano da Silva, C.; Henriques, L.

Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the EU, 1994, 211 pp.
Research Evaluation Report; EUR, 15634/EN
ISBN: 92-826-8175-0
Research Report
Fraunhofer ISI ()
Canada; Deutschland; Europäische Union; European Union; evaluation; Forschungspolitik; Germany; Japan; research policy; Technologiepolitik; technological development policy

This study examines the experience of organisations and research programmes in the use of "verifiable objectives" - that is, objectives which have been formulated in a sufficiently precise manner that, after the event, it has been or should be possible through examination of empirical evidence to determine whether those objectives have been attained. A survey of the extent of the use of verifiable objectives for publicly supported R&D programmes is given for most countries of the European Union, Japan, Canada and the United States. The diffferent approaches are classified and assessed for their appropriate application in research programmes of the European Commission. A number of lessons may be drawn from this epmirical study, thus: a hierarchical format linking objectives upwards to policy rationale and downwards to actions and impacts is particularly useful, the commitment of senior management to the implementation of the "verifiable objectives" approach is essential, programme manag ers have to take a prominent role in objectives articulation, additional advantages may be gained from the provision of professional evaluation support.