6. Policy Monitoring & Evaluation

Policy makers, companies and the public want to know what policies work and what policies don’t. Consequently the aim of the evaluation is to determine whether an implemented policy is doing what it is supposed to.

The terms ‘monitoring’ and ‘evaluation’ are often used together. This is why monitoring and evaluation are an embedded concept and essential in every policy process. It is seen as a dialog between the stakeholders and the development progress of the policy measure.

Monitoring the policy – and the values and goals defined in the analysis phase – enables a determination of positive or negative effects for the target group. Monitoring is a long-term process, because many programs have long-term effects that will not be known in the short term.

6.1 Monitoring and Simulation

During the formulation phase the creation of a good policy document based on formal consultations, risk analysis and pilot studies is ensured. Active participation is limited in this phase [Ma04a]. The evaluation of options in the current context refers to the evaluation and fine-tuning of the intended policy in the current legal, organizational and political context. At the end one or more alternative fine-tuned policy proposals are drafted for ratification in the decision making bodies.

6.2 Evaluation

Evaluation can be divided into formative and summative evaluation.

Formative evaluation

Formative evaluation examines the operations of the program, usually for the purpose of improving the program and assessing its implementation with operational key indicators (e.g. number of people participating, …)

Summative evaluation

Checks whether the policy achieved its intended goals as defined in the analysis phase.

Changes should be suggested in Policy Monitoring and Evaluation phase

At this point the process can loop back into stage 1 (agenda setting) as the policy may be modified on the basis of experience with implementation. (Ann Macintosh, 2004)