Research Article

Evaluation im kulturpolitischen Wirkungsbereich
Grundprobleme und Herausforderungen

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Since the rise of New Public Management, regular evaluations have been employed as a cultural policy guidance instrument. However, the credibility of the associated implicit promise of objective, evidence-based decision-making processes starts to crack as soon as one gains an insight into how evaluation studies are created and manipulatively applied. How should one respond to the claim of the epistemological validity of evaluation studies’ results? And what should one pay attention to in order to ensure the quality of evaluation studies? It is not sufficient to simply fulfil formal academic criteria (methodology and systematics of data collection and evaluation), or to demand clarity (well-founded selection of indicators, well-founded conclusions), and transparency (disclosure of the evaluation procedure and the underlying motives). Consequently this article is focused on how to approach fundamental problems, ambivalences and imponderables that arise in the course of any evaluation study. The aim is to achieve greater reflexivity in the inherent ambiguity and fragility of evaluation processes.