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Relationen styrning och utvärdering: Hur en europeisk utvärderingsidé översätts i Sverige
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3565-6563
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Evaluation is an institutionalized practice in the western public sector with several applications and uses. At the same time, the effectiveness and use of evaluation is seldom demonstrated. This evaluation paradox is due to the fact that evaluation is constrained and shaped in relation to, among others, a political context.  In this dissertation, the political context is examined from the assumption that governance shapes evaluation. The aim is to analyze the relationship between governance and evaluation, by studying the translation (i.e. inter­pretation) of the European Union evaluation approach ongoing evaluation in Sweden, in the context of Cohesion policy 2007-2013, which in Sweden aims at reinforcing competitiveness and employment. The relation­ship is examined through documents and interviews on a European union and a Swedish level, and in the translation process in between. With key concepts such as steering logics, participatory evaluation and translation through framing, the formation of evaluation in relation to governance has been mapped. This is particularly interesting in Sweden where the approach puts forth ideals of learning and interaction that seem to depart from ongoing evaluation.   

Results show that governance cannot fully explain the shape of evaluation. Instead, Swedish agencies and other implementing actors have promoted their evaluation norms while at the same time fulfilling the Swedish ministries’ learning frame. It is an actor perspective comple­menting the relation­­ship between gover­nance and evaluation previously presented. The evaluation approach in Sweden has been translated to a practical participatory evaluation approach within a larger group of collabora­tive inquiry.

In conclusion, evaluation on both levels has functioned as a relatively un­critical supportive resource for decision making within predetermined boundaries, more connected to the object of evaluation than to a larger gover­nance context. Evaluation in Sweden is being separated from questions of accounta­bility, and participation in evaluation is for goal fulfillment rather than for critical examination of basic assumptions underpinning projects and programs. Results made possible through the lens of trans­lation show that the Swedish approach was made possible by the vague borders of the field of evaluation, the rhetorical use of evaluation terminology in translation, skilled institutional entrepreneurs using legitimizing strategies, and the framing by the Commission and state ministries that opens up for national variation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2015.
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 226/2015
Keyword [en]
Governance, translation, framing, steering logics, Cohesion policy, European Union, institutional logics, participatory evaluation
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-42953ISBN: 978-91-87925-67-2OAI: diva2:809389
Public defence
2015-06-12, Myrdal, Hus K, Växjö, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-05-06 Created: 2015-05-03 Last updated: 2016-02-29Bibliographically approved

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Nordesjö, Kettil
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