2007 Mutual Learning process: Evaluation of Foresight activities


Online Foresight Guide

Rationale

This series of workshops looked at the ex-post evaluation of Foresight activities i.e. the assessment of the exercise by an independent external body after the exercise has ended.

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In recent years, there has been increasing demand for evaluation in particular for RTI (Research, Technology, Innovation) policy. This was due to changing socio-economic conditions on the one hand and the emergence of new policy instruments on the other. In the case of Foresight the need to develop well designed evaluation approaches is even more pressing for a number of reasons.

A number of methods are available for RTI policy evaluation that can be combined to form an evaluation approach adapted to the particular context at hand. While RTI policy evaluation is thus able to work with established methods, attempts to systematise experience into a more coherent framework are more recent. This is partly due to the fact that Foresight is a comparatively new instrument for innovation policy. However, as a systemic innovation policy instrument operating with a different rationale than classical intervention methods Foresight is also posing particular challenges to evaluation. At the same time, precisely because of its particular systemic nature, which does not easily allow for tracking of impacts and assessing efficient implementation, the spending of resources for Foresight often needs to be justified more than other RTI policy measures.

Thus, the specific nature of Foresight on the one hand creates a special demand for evaluation but at the same time poses specific challenges for evaluation. Therefore, within the wider framework of RTD policy evaluation it is important to develop dedicated strategies for the evaluation of Foresight and it seems timely to tackle the issue of Foresight evaluation within the FORLEARN Mutual Learning workshop.

Description of events

Two mutual learning workshops were run to gather and share insights on appropriate evaluation strategies for Foresight.

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