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Benerdal, Malin, Doktor
Publikationer (4 of 4) Visa alla publikationer
Benerdal, M. (2019). Nationell utvärderingspolicy: utformning och förändring på grundskoleområdet 1988-2014. (Doctoral dissertation). Umeå: Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Umeå universitet
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Nationell utvärderingspolicy: utformning och förändring på grundskoleområdet 1988-2014
2019 (Svenska)Doktorsavhandling, monografi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Evaluation has grown in both volume and scope across levels and sectors in recent decades, particularly in the school sector. Despite this growth, there is insufficient knowledge about how and in what ways evaluations are formed, institutionalized and used in education governance and education reforms. This thesis addresses some of these issues by studying evaluation policy. The aim of the thesis is to explore and analyse the design and possible changes in national evaluation policy in compulsory education during two periods of extensive education reforms (1988-1994 and 2008-2014).

The theoretical framework builds on evaluation research and policy studies, particularly the literature on policy design. These two strands of literature are supplemented with additional analytical tools from historical institutionalism regarding policy change. Drawing on previous research, a definition of evaluation policy that incorporates the policy context and also enables studying an implicit policy is proposed. On the empirical level, the findings are based on official policy documents, material produced by national government agencies as well as evaluations and evaluation systems.

The thesis shows that during the first period (1988-1994), the evaluation policy was characterized as a means of helping to implement the extensive reforms. Evaluations were to be conducted on all levels of the school system to promote development on each executive level. The policy design reflected evaluation as a learning and capacity-building tool. Schools and municipalities were positioned as owners and co-creators of evaluation knowledge. During the second period (2008-2014), the evaluation policy was partially revised in order to come to terms with inadequate evaluations and declining school results. The policy included more sanctions and hortatory tools, and more emphasis was placed on comparisons and rankings. The evaluation policy was based on the assumption that local actors should and will act on evaluative knowledge created by the agencies and international actors, and that they could be motivated to do so by the threat of, for example sanctions or issues of ranking and comparisons.

The evaluation policy design was largely stable over time. However, three more incremental but significant changes were identified: i) the policy design element “agents and implementation structures” was altered, ii) the evaluation policy expanded and iii) became more directed towards national and external control. These changes also indicated more negative implications for democracy during the second period. In relation to evaluations’ democratic function the analysis showed that the evaluation policy mainly strengthened the legitimizing and controlling function, whereas the enlightenment function was not prominent.

This implies a risk that issues that may be relevant from a broader democratic and societal perspective may be overlooked and not subjected to evaluation. The thesis also acknowledges and illustrates the importance of uncovering and reconstructing evaluation policies, policies that are partly veiled, since also implicit policies will have democratic implications.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Umeå: Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Umeå universitet, 2019. s. 205
Serie
Statsvetenskapliga institutionens skriftserie, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 2019:1
Nyckelord
evaluation, governing, evaluation policy, compulsory education, Sweden, education reform, policy design, policy change, democratic implications
Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
statskunskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-157145 (URN)978-91-7855-037-1 (ISBN)
Disputation
2019-04-13, S 205, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 10:15 (Svenska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2019-03-22 Skapad: 2019-03-12 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-03-20Bibliografiskt granskad
Benerdal, M. (2016). From local conditionality to complexity reductionism? Exploring national evaluation policy in educational reforms in Sweden. In: : . Paper presented at 12th EES Biennial Conference (EES2016) : Evaluation Futures in Europe and beyond. Connectivity, Innovation and Use, Maastricht, Netherlands, Aug 26 - Sept 30, 2016.
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>From local conditionality to complexity reductionism? Exploring national evaluation policy in educational reforms in Sweden
2016 (Engelska)Konferensbidrag, Enbart muntlig presentation (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

The demand for evaluation and monitoring in governance is well known. A development that has taken different forms in different countries, this paper focusing on Sweden and the educational sector. Even though evaluation is an old practice within the government of Sweden, different times have called for different kinds of evaluation (see e.g. Vedung 2010). In the late 1980s the governing of the education system was reformed to a system of management by objectives and results, hence demanding new functions for evaluation in the governing of education. This could be seen as a shift into governing by evaluation (see Foss Hansen 2013). But how this takes shape can be expected to be a constant struggle since the question of what evaluation is, and should be, in a specific governing setting is a political question in a world of symbols, ideologies and power relations (Hanberger 2012). Therefore, how evaluation is perceived, what is being evaluated and how and whom having a voice are matters concerning governing of evaluation. The argument here being that by focusing on, and scrutinizing, evaluation policy these kinds of questions can be explored, questioned and possibly criticized. With evaluation policy being defined as the formal and informal rules, routines and norms that is used to shape, conduct or change decisions and actions regarding evaluation. This means that both explicit and implicit evaluation policy can be studied.

The aim of the paper is to explore and describe how evaluation policy is formed and steered within the educational sector in Sweden during two periods of intense educational reforms (1988-1994 and 2008-2014). Drawing on a policy design framework different design elements is identified from empirical material such as governmental and educational agencies documents, and by mapping of evaluation systems and evaluations conducted by responsible agencies. The analysis show that the amount of evaluations and evaluation systems has increased over the years. Today, the Swedish education system rely extensively on evaluations of different kinds as a way to control and enhance quality and performance in education and schooling but also to enable competition and support school choice on the Swedish education market. But while more measuring and evaluation could possibly widen the debate the preliminary results indicate that ‘complexity reductionism’ rather being the case. More performance measurements and use of indicators and to a larger extent relying on international student assessments to value the national educational system while stand-alone evaluations adhering to the complex nature of education taking the backseat. The preliminary findings thus indicate that evaluation policy could be one possible way to enhance our understanding of the relationship between evaluation and governance. Making it possible to question the role and function of evaluation in governance. And thus, to explore governance of and by evaluation.

Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-166706 (URN)
Konferens
12th EES Biennial Conference (EES2016) : Evaluation Futures in Europe and beyond. Connectivity, Innovation and Use, Maastricht, Netherlands, Aug 26 - Sept 30, 2016
Tillgänglig från: 2019-12-20 Skapad: 2019-12-20 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-01-02Bibliografiskt granskad
Benerdal, M. (2014). The role of Evaluation in Educational Policymaking: a historical approach to the Swedish Case. In: : . Paper presented at 11th Biennal European Evaluation Society Conference, October 1-3, 2014, Dublin, Irland.
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The role of Evaluation in Educational Policymaking: a historical approach to the Swedish Case
2014 (Engelska)Konferensbidrag, Muntlig presentation med publicerat abstract (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

Evaluation is assumed to support democratic governance and promote accountability and policy and program improvement (Boswell 2009; Chelimsky 1995; Hanberger 2006; 2012; Pollitt 2006; Weiss et al. 2005). Thus, from this perspective evaluation is conceived as a governing tool or a governing technique. It could be assumed that different modes of governing require different roles concerning types of evaluations and evaluative knowledge, however empirical investigations is by no means plentiful on this respect and thus needs further studying. Also, evaluation has mostly been regarded as one of many different governing techniques. Lately, however, scholars are raising the issue of systemic evaluation governance (Hansen 2013) which also brings an additional element to it.

This paper discusses the role of evaluation in a specific policy area; Swedish education policy. Sweden has been criticized by OECD in lacking coherence among the different evaluation parts which also calls for an investigation of why and how the different parts of the evaluative functions have emerged and what demands they responded to, and how evaluation has been designed and governed. The paper will examine the purposes of evaluation in education governance by analyzing public policy documents, governmental investigations and previous research, focusing on the time after the Second World War and the building of a comprehensive school system. Different periods are identified on the basis of different modes of education governance. The paper will discuss the implications of the study results for the literature on evaluation governance.

Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-165812 (URN)
Konferens
11th Biennal European Evaluation Society Conference, October 1-3, 2014, Dublin, Irland
Tillgänglig från: 2019-12-04 Skapad: 2019-12-04 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-12-09Bibliografiskt granskad
Benerdal, M. (2013). Exploring Evaluation Policy: as a process, concept and activity. In: : . Paper presented at Svenska utvärderingsföreningens nationella konferens "Utvärdering i politiken och politik i utvärderingen", 14-15 november, 2013, Stockholm.
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Exploring Evaluation Policy: as a process, concept and activity
2013 (Engelska)Konferensbidrag, Enbart muntlig presentation (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

The concept of evaluation policy usually refers to "the way to do evaluations" in line with SIDA's (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) strategy for conducting evaluations (SIDA 1999; 2012). This way of framing evaluation policy is in my experience, the most common way to think of the concept. A strategic and written plan for how evaluations should be conducted. That is, policy is the product of authoritative decision making and the policy work contains the implementation of this decision. However, this is not the only way to view evaluation policy, and a few years back New Directions for Evaluation devoted a special issue to highlight evaluation policy. With scholars such as Mark, Cooksy, Trochim and Chelimsky (2009) arguing for the need of a "fresh look on evaluation policy" and especially the intimate relation with the evaluation practice (Trochim 2009). Although this sounds like an attempting and promising opening for a debate, these scholars have not adequately addressed the issue of evaluation policy by focusing solely on the hierarchy of policy-making, thus ignoring the vertical dimension of evaluation policy, which is highly relevant to develop a deeper understanding of the making of evaluation policy. My paper addresses the issue of making evaluation policy and with special attention to the vertical and horizontal dimension, emanating from the understanding of policy as a contested, interactive process and activity of many hands. Specifically, in my PhD-project, I will be looking at the making of evaluation policy in the education field, a frequently evaluated domain. This paper will be devoted to the discussion of the concept of evaluation policy and the different dimensions of policy, that is the vertical and horizontal aspect (Colebatch 1998) with examples of evaluation policies from the educational field. This also involves evaluation steering which affect and constitute the conditions for how the evaluation practice can evolve (Hanberger 2013; Foss Hansen 2013). Hence, this sheds light on the constant question of power in evaluation policy. I argue that evaluation policy is an important concept that needs a different or more inclusive approach emerging from the literature on policy work. It also has to be recognized that the practice of evaluation policy is not so much about implementing an already formulated evaluation policy, but rather about creating evaluation policies which is a process of social construction, of collective sense making. In conclusion, this project, by closely examining evaluation policy, sheds new light on the processes of making evaluation policy, and how this can be researched.

Nationell ämneskategori
Statsvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-163005 (URN)
Konferens
Svenska utvärderingsföreningens nationella konferens "Utvärdering i politiken och politik i utvärderingen", 14-15 november, 2013, Stockholm
Tillgänglig från: 2019-12-04 Skapad: 2019-12-04 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-12-09Bibliografiskt granskad
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