Mreža evropskih nacionalnih evalvacijskih društev (NESE) je za razpravo pripravila “Izjavo o poslanstvu”. O njej smo oblikovali pripombe. V nadaljevanju sledi najprej predlog izjave, nato pa špe naše precej kriticno mnenje.

Mission Statement

Network of Evaluation Societies in Europe (NESE)
Prague 2010
1. NESE – an open network of evaluation societies in Europe
NESE is an open network of independent evaluation societies and associations in Europe. It provides a forum for discussion and information exchange and promotes quality of evaluation. NESE members are non profit organizations devoted to the public interest. Membership is open to legally or formally constituted evaluation associations or societies that are free of state and commercial influence. NESE members cooperate on a voluntary basis to achieve the commonly defined goals.
2. Goals of NESE – Evaluation in Europe
NESE promotes quality and independence of evaluation. It provides a cooperative platform for national evaluation associations and societies in Europe. It seeks to foster exchange of knowledge and good practices and to promote evaluation professionalism.
NESE aims to facilitate strengthening the capacity of associated evaluation societies to develop sound and independent practice. It provides the arena where evaluation societies can learn and support each other to promote good evaluation practice in their countries. NESE also facilitates exchange on the foundation and growth of new evaluation societies, on how to evolve governance structures, provide value to members, and organize conferences and other events increasing evaluation professionalism. In particular, it supports the development of national standards and guidelines of evaluation on the basis of common principles.
NESE fosters communication on evaluation issues and conditions among its member societies and with European institutions involved in evaluation issues. It enhances information exchange on national evaluation practices, standards and professional learning, national developments and evaluation practices, and broadens debate on key evaluation policy issues from a European perspective.
3. Organization and Structure of NESE
NESE is coordinated by the European Evaluation Society (EES) and one other evaluation society within the network. The latter one rotates every second year. EES supports the internet presentation of NESE providing information about participants and activities ( htm).
In order to promote transparency, quality development and knowledge exchange NESE organizes annual meetings, encourages collaborative development work and facilitates the systematic exchange of information.
Every second year the NESE meeting takes place in the context of the EES Conference. In between one NESE meeting is organized by the evaluation society coordinating the network together with EES.
Pripombe SDE (20. januar 2010):
Dear editors of the mission statement.
Slovenian Evaluation Society (SES) greets NESE initiative and preparation of proposal for a joint mission statement. SES has discussed previously sent Mission statement and proposes the following changes:
1. Second paragraph, delete “on the basis of common principles”: Our opinion is that standards are important for high quality of evaluation only when these standards are themselves of good quality. This is presently hardly the case. We think so taking into account report of Impact Assessment Board (EC) stating that 80% of evaluation studies are of poor quality. These studies are not breaching “common principles”, but they are still basically useless. Our opinion is that “common evaluation principles” need to be essentially improved in particular from the aspect of usability of evaluation studies for users that operate at medium and at top level management in public sector. Behind this is unresolved aggregation problem in evaluation of large-scale and multi-scope policies. We think that diverse development of national practices is advantage in Europe because it strengthens innovative search for improvement.
2. Third paragraph: We propose that NESE is coordinated by NESE alone without formal participation of EES. Our opinion is that support of EES to NESE is welcome but should be discrete as maximally possible. EES is professional organisation, it is in a way a club that links its individual members with strong ties while NESE is informal network of national societies linked with weak ties. The scope of national evaluation society at least in Slovenia is broader (public interest) than can be scope of any professional organisation. We think that link between EES and NESE is important because NESE can contribute to additional legitimacy of EES actions, while EES can contribute its infrastructure for better but also entirely and consistently independent coordination of NESE. However, from our point of view it is not possible to trade-off legitimacy for administrative support.
Slovenian Evaluation Society, January 2010

Pripombe SDE (19. februar 2010):
Dear all!
Proposal that we compose a mission statement of NESE is very encouraging for all of us who work in Slovenia because it gives us new energy and hope that evaluation efforts will be strengthened on the European level in the future. We are in particular grateful to Swedish colleagues for considering our proposal to delimit coordination of NESE and EES in NESE mission statement. Let me add an argument or two in an attempt to bring our views closer.
We accept an argument of Swedish Society (and EES) on practicality of idea that European Evaluation Society (EES) coordinates NESE. In particular we understand that dilemma is not pronounced for all members of NESE who are also members of EEA. Slovenian Evaluation Society is not and will not become member of EES soon because it is too expensive. We also see activity of EES as too closed, it is operating less as “a society” and more like “a chamber” which is not how our evaluation society sees itself. Both approaches may be necessary (we are investing efforts to establish chamber of evaluators in Slovenia too) but also need to remain carefully separated.
We think it would be inconsistent to design NESE as dependent network of independent national societies. This solution would not enhance members’ independence but subtly feed back a hierarchy. We can not see how NESE can be considered as an independent organism if it is not given a task to be self-governed. We think it is entirely possible to coordinate NESE activity with voluntary contributions from its members if activity is organised in decentralised way with pronounced role of regional sub-networks and sub-networks on the project level. Important part of NESE activity will be probably among member themselves which require no central coordination effort at all. To organise annual NESE meeting is really not a huge coordination problem. Another possibility is that NESE members collect necessary sum of financial resources for covering cost of NESE secretary. Slovenian Evaluation Society is willing to discuss this possibility as one of possible alternatives to currently proposed solution. Nevertheless, EES is certainly warmly acceptable by our society as a partner and sponsor of NESE.
Let us add another proposal which is somehow missing from Mission statement and also from our previous comment. Members of NESE will probably advance NESE mission in their national contexts. For this reason it is also necessary to consider the logical consequence that NESE operates as a form that is able and willing to express all available support to the accomplishment of members’ tasks in national framework if they are in context of its broad mission. Here contribution could be very real and effective.
NESE could also be seen as a possible convergence point of members in their participation with EU institutions and other relevant international institutions.
Here is our polished proposal for the mission statement:
  1. The first paragraph, add: “NESE is independent and self-governing network of national evaluation societies.” “NESE makes decision with majority of votes of its all members except for changing this mission statement where 75% of member votes is required.”
  2. The second paragraph, add: “Members of NESE promote NESE mission in their national activity. NESE support NES activity in national framework if it is implemented in the context of NESE mission.”
  3. The third paragraph, add: “NESE can seek agreement of its members for representing them in specified international activity.”
  4. The third paragraph, Delete: “the European Evaluation Society (EES) and one other evaluation society within the network”; add: “by elected member society.”
Bojan Radej for Slovenian Evaluation Society
(19Feb10, Ljubljana)
Pripombe SDE (10. april 2010):
Dear Sandra and Karin,
Thank you for your update and for operational proposals. Here we respond to your questions:
1. Slovenian evaluation society will make all efforts to join you at the Prague meeting.
2. Many thanks for your effort to prepare a second draft of mission statement.
3. Concerning the highlighted topic, which had the highest priority of the issues for mutual exchange in NESE survey 2009. My opinion is that survey sometimes asked rather artificial questions. So results of survey should not be generalized – the outlined issue earned “the highest priority” status among 4 or 5 issues raised in questionnaire. This does not mean that this is really “the highest priority of the issues for mutual exchange”. I don’t wish to oppose the idea to put forward the issue on how to “raise politicians´ awareness of evaluation” but lets cover it among those, who are interested in this. I think that meeting would need to focus on exchange between evaluation societies: such as presentation of societies, what they achieved last year, their problems, programs of work, dilemma, pressing problems; nothing very theoretical, mainly practical issues. We may also try to define some set of pressing issues for discussion in groups among those interested.
4. One critically important question for discussion in Prague is launching discussion on the present evaluation standards and guidelines with the Commission In this regard wee need to discuss Impact Assessment Board Report for 2009.
5. Concerning our proposal – there is quite unpleasant misunderstanding. We have not raised the question “How can we manage support for new societies by established societies”? We definitely do not expect support by “established societies”. I think we need to operate as colleagues and partners who are of course very much different. I don’t wish our society to be observed in a relationship between “established” and “new” societies. We think we are established just in the same way as any other society operating in the comparable legal status. What we proposed is that NESE supports national societies the same as national societies supports NESE. NESE will be able to speak for us. So it would be very helpful if our or any other society could obtain NESE support for some of initiatives to the national governments – for instance.
6. We appreciate the initiative of Italian evaluation society to host the next meeting of NESE.
Best regards, Bojan Radej, Slovenian Evaluation Society

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