Responsive evaluation: The meaning and special contribution to public administration

Tineke Abma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Responsive evaluation offers an emerging vision and rationale for evaluation. In the version of responsive evaluation presented here, evaluation is reframed from the assessment of policy interventions on the basis of policy-makers' questions to a dialogue among diverse stakeholder interests that moves towards reciprocal understanding and acceptance. This approach to evaluation is especially appropriate for the field of public administration, given the existing problems of complexity and the potential synergy with interactive and participatory policy approaches. Responsive evaluation and interactive approaches to public policy issues share the same democratic goals of participation and influence, and the alignment between these concepts make both sets of ideas and activities more effective and meaningful. The value and meaning of responsive evaluation and the synergy of this evaluation approach with the concept of public dialogue about important public issues is illustrated by a case study. This concerns a responsive evaluation of an organized policy dialogue about the future of the Dutch aviation infrastructure, known publicly as the Schiphol discussion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1012
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004

Cite this