SiES – Factsheet (@IOCE). SiES (ID code 2376784000/AJPES) has been established on 7. January 2008 in Ljubljana. SDE is non-governmental, not-for profit and non-professional organisation comprised of academics, practitioners and users of program and project evaluation in a variety of fields-regional and rural development, spatial, urban and landscape planning, education, social services, business, and others. Activity of SDE is based on voluntary contribution of its members (10+) and non-members (500+). SDE is a member of Western Balkan Evaluation Network and of National Evaluation Societies of Europe as well as of IOCE – International organization for cooperation of evaluation. SDE is a also member of Slovenian spatial network.
Activity of the Society are organised in three permanent commissions:
1. Commission for ethical codex and evaluation standards (COD) – its tasks are to work on evaluation standards and ethical codex of evaluators;
2. Commission for meta-evaluation (MET) – its tasks are to evaluate results of evaluation processes from the aspect of codex and standards;
3. Commission for evaluation studies (STU) – its tasks is to collect fundamental and also intermediate new knowledge in the area (not only in evaluation but also in complexity theory, system theory, formal system, anthropology that is relevant for evaluation etc).
The Society does not limit its activity to members and their immediate concerns but operates as an ‘incubator’ of evaluation efforts for members and non-member alike. In line with this the Society established a network of evaluators, it is publishing working paper series and newsletter as a free of charge service to members and non-members; it is serving as a facilitator of activities and processes in the area of evaluation.
I.3 Formal structure of the Society
- Chairman of the COD – Jože Grabar Kos, spatial planner, publicist and activist.
- Chairman of the MET – mag. Zvezda Koželj, Ministry for Culture.
- Chairman of the STU – dr. Pavle Gmeiner, retired evaluator.
- Arbitrator and Conflict Mediator – mag. Peter Medica, director of High-School Centre in Sežana.
- Supervisor – Metod Dolinšek, International Consultant.
- Chairman of the SDE – mag. Bojan Radej, Independent researcher.
Society operates as a platform of the civil society that is aimed at promotion of independent but effective evaluation of public policies in Slovenia and in European union. It has been established with the vision to affirm neutral evaluation of complex social phenomena. Complexity means that there are incommensurable viewpoints and values with regard to different social realities, such as economic, social and environmental, or local and global, which provide us with very different ‘numeraires’ and views of the world, and they cannot be reduced to the same common denominator. The fact that variegated forms of welfare need to be taken into account in evaluation implies that ‘different principles of social primacy and legitimacy must be reckoned with and reconciled’ (Wacquant). When confronted with multidisciplinary of social issues, even competent, honest and disinterested scientists may arrive at different conclusions because of systematic differences in the way they summarise available information of one and the same world (Kuhn). For Kuhn theories and scientists are unable to truly reflect reality. When values are based on incommensurable oppositions, there is no objective basis for rational choice between theories and than no neutral observation of social reality is possible.
The imperative for integrating evaluation into social research is linked to profound methodological challenges due to our inability to make direct comparisons, trade-off and synthesis of incompatible scientific results about socially complex phenomena.Evaluation itself is not a science (Forest, 1977; Trapnell, 1984), nor is it its substitute, but an integral complement, at least in social research. In the social studies facts do not speak for themselves like they appear to do in physics but they provide only a frame for reasonable judgment. What precedes scientific research and what follows it is inherently linked to valuation (Hollis, 2002). Scientific practice is concerned with the search for causes and laws, while evaluation is concerned with the search for meaning (Winch, in Hollis, 2002). The art of evaluation in particular lies in ensuring that the measurable and commensurable do not drive out the immeasurable (Matarasao, 1996) and incommensurable.
III. Regular Activities
III.1 Round tables SiES organised the following round tables & Public Lectures (in Slovenian language, if not linked):Lecture – Presentation of methodology: »Meso-matrical Impact Assessment« (24. Apr 2008):
- Round table: »Ethical codex – between principles and practice« (20. May 2008)
- Presentation of evaluation study results: »Impact of National Energy Programme on the Spatial Cohesion of Slovenia and its regions« (long summary in English, 3. Jul. 2008)
- Round table: »Understanding of public interest in evaluation« (28. Oct. 2008)
- Round table: »Mercantilism in spatial planning« (3. Feb. 2009)
- Round table: »Evaluation in the intersection between civil society and government« (8. Apr. 2009)
- Lecture: »Financial crisis, economic meltdown and evaluation« (29. Apr 2009, in cooperation with YHD-Association for the theory and culture of handicap, Ljubljana)
- Round table: »Data demands in evaluation of social programmes« (12. Apr. 2009, in cooperation with the Faculty of social work and with the Institute of Republic of Slovenia for social safety)
- Workshop: “Obstacles to inter-sectoral coordination”, 8 July 2009, in Slovene, in cooperation with Government Office for Development and European Affairs and Ministry of Finance.
- Workshop: “More for Less? Self-evaluation in public administration with CAF“, 9. July 2009, in Slovene, preparred in cooperation with theSchool of Advanced Social Studies in Nova Gorica.
- Round table: “Performance Based Budgeting”, 23. October 2009, Preparred together with Ministry of Finance.
- Round table: “Annual Programing Conference of Slovenian Evaluation Society 2009”, 7. December 2009.
- Lectures: “Synthesis in Policy Impact Evaluation”, Unversity of Valencia, 28. January 2010; and University of Ljubljana (Annual Congres of European Association for Environmental Economics), 2. July 2009.
- Educational programme: “Evaluation for occasional users” (in Slovene, permanent programe, accompanied with a book, since 2010)
- outofthebox_radej_vidik/; Paper http://www.sdeval.si/Publikacije-za-komisijo-za-kodekse-in-standarde/Vec-nivojski-vidik-druzbene-kompleksnosti.html
- Ex-ante evaluation of rural development programe for Slovenia, presentation of evaluation results (4. II 2011)
- Common Assessment Framework for users in municipalities (18. XI 2011, 10. V 2012)
- Workshop – evaluation of spatila plans (13. XII 2011)
- Round Table: Evaluation ethics in health, organized together with national acadey of science (17. I 2013)
- Seminar on evaluation of official development assistance, organized together with the Ministry for foreign affairs (12. IX 2013)
- Mid-term evaluation of development oprgrame for Pokolpje, presentation of results (17 IX 2014)
- Ex-ante evaluation of national Operational programme for EU structural funds, presentation of results (19 VI 2015 in Ljubljana and 22 VI 2015 in Maribor)…
III.2.1 The Working papers series (WP/SiES): It publishes scientific and technical papers from the aspect of evaluation of public policies and from related disciplines. Working paper series is the first serial publication on the impact assessment in Slovenia. It is freely accessible on the internet. Papers are reviewed and bibliographic catalogued (CIP) ensuring that information is available in all catalogues in Slovenia and elsewhere. Already published in WP/SiES (those, not hyperlinked are written in Slovenian language):
Volume 1 (2008):
no. 1, Excercises in Aggregation (B. Radej, 23 pp)
no. 2, Synthesis of Territorial Impact Assessment for Slovene Energy Programme (B. Radej, 43 pp)
no. 3, Meso-Matrical Synthesis of the Incommensurable (B. Radej, 21 pp)
Volume 2 (2009):
no. 1, Anti-systemic movement in unity and diversity (B. Radej, 12 pp)
no. 2, Meso-matrical Impact Assessment – peer to peer discussion of the working paper 3/2008(B. Radej, 30 pp)
no. 3, Turistic regionalisation in Slovenia (J. Kos Grabar, 29 pp)
no. 4, Impact assessment of government proposals (B. Radej, 18 pp)
no. 5, Performance Based Budgeting (B. Radej, 33 pp)
Volume 3 (2010):
no. 1, Beyond »New Public Management« doctrine in policy impact evaluation (B.Radej, M.Golobič, M.Istenič)
no. 2, Basics of impact evaluation for occassional and random users (B. Radej)
Volume 4 (2011):
no. 1, Intersectional prioritisation of social needs (B. Radej, Z. Kovač, L. Jurančič Šribar, 45 pp)
no. 2, Primary and secondary perspective in policy evaluation (B. Radej, 30 pp)
no. 3, Aggregation problem in evaluations of complex matters (B. Radej, 41 pp)
no. 4, Movement 99%: With exclusion to the community (B.Radej, 42 pp)
Volume 5 (2012):
no. 1, Excellence squared: self-assessment in public administration with CAF (B.Radej, M.Macur)
no. 2, Partial whole: example of territorial cohesion (B.Radej, M.Golobič, 31 pp)
Volume 6 (2013):
no. 1, Divided we stand: Social integration in the middle (B.Radej, M.Golobič, 26 pp)
no. 2, With Exclusion to the Community (B.Radej, July 2013)
no. 1, Apples and Oranges: Synthesis without a common denominator (B.Radej, February 2014, 40 pp)
Volume 8 (2015):
no. 1, Measuring Smartness of Innovation Policy (B.Radej, K. Ž. Jazbinšek, M. Dolinšek, June 2015, 25 pp)
III.2.2 The Newsletter: SiES publishes approx. 20 issues of the Newsletter in Slovenian language annually. An English version of SDE Newsletter is dispached once or twice a year.
III. 3. Also published:
Our book which sets evaluation framework and guidelines in Slovenia has been awarded a title of scientific achievement in 2011 by national Agency for research. Our methodological work is already presented in English language (Evaluation (Sage) 17/2(April 2011) and Evaluation and Program Planning (Elsevier), 34/3(august 2011)), into Spanish (Joaquín Farinós Dasí (ed.). 2011, Universitat de València, http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=4077960) and in languages of countries in the Western Balkan region. Many Slovenian Faculties have prescribed the book as a study material for students on graduate and post-graduate level (social sciences, architecture, landscape planning, applied social sciences, security studies, and social work). This methodology has been recommended in review of approaches to evaluating innovation by Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (“Diagnosis of National Innovation Systems and Development of Science, technology and innovation Strategies in the Open Innovation Framework”, http://www.apctt.org/eventpdf/Concept%20Note%20NIS%20Forum.pdf
English version of the book is forthcomming.
VI Building regional evaluation network in Western Balkan (WBEN)
SiES has been initiator of regional cooperation in Western Balkan, including six countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia. See http://www.sdeval.si/weben. Evaluation societies in Croatia and Montenegro have been established based on efforts initiated by SiES.