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German Government Department's Experience of RT&D Programme Evaluation and Methodology

: Kuhlmann, S.


Scientometrics 34 (1995), Nr.3, S.461-471
ISSN: 0138-9130
Fraunhofer ISI ()

In Germany the interest in the evaluation of RT & D programmes has increased markedly in the recent past; not least because of cut- backs in public budgets, which put-considerable pressure on prioritising and posterioritising of financially effective state intervention. The paper reports on a comprehensive analysis of evaluation practice up till now in the field of RT & D programmes in Germany: within the framework of a ''Metaevaluation'', the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology (BMFT) had over 50 evaluation studies, which it had commissioned since 1985, documented and critically analysed. On the basis of this analysis and its recommendations, a rough outline for a systematised future evaluation practice has been developed and discussed. Reflections on the basic meaning of evaluation, then which basic functions evaluation studies can fulfil during planning and implementation of RT & D policy measures for government departments, for policy-makers and for the public, were considered. In order to achieve a minimum of compatibility for evaluation activities in the future, a ''Basic Pack'' of standards for the implementation of evaluation studies was developed (as regards evaluation planning, choice of evaluators, content/scope/range, methods and indicators, editing and utilising the results), and more ambitious possibilities for use were discussed (e.g. combination of technology foresight and ex ante policy analyses).