OECD Journal on Budgeting

The OECD journal on public sector budgeting, published three times per year. It draws on the best of the recent work of the OECD Working Party of Senior Budget Officials (SBO), as well as special contributions from finance ministries, and makes it available to a wider community in an accessible format. The journal provides insight on leading-edge institutional arrangements, systems and instruments for the allocation and management of resources in the public sector. Now published as a part of the OECD Journal subscription package.

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The Role of Evaluations in Political and Administrative Learning and the Role of Learning in Evaluation Praxis

The writing of this paper, is in reference to my contribution in Can Governments Learn?, one of the books published by the International Evaluation Research Group. My immediate and first reaction was that it is of course always very nice to be asked to contribute for a distinguished audience. My second reaction was to ask myself when my essay in Can Governments Learn? was really written and what questions it dealt with; and perhaps even more, what was the answer to the question which constitutes the title of the book. The need to ask the latter questions had of course something to do with the answer to the first question, namely that the essay was written about 10 years ago. It was therefore obvious that the discussion in this book in a more technical sense had to be updated, but also had to take into account both some new empirical material and the discussion within a couple of intellectual fields. The title of this current paper implies several questions: to what degree politicians and administrators learn from evaluations, and also to what degree learning takes place among the evaluators themselves. These questions create a sort of strategic problem. Am I going to give the answer at the beginning of my paper or perhaps later? But perhaps I will compromise: I will start with a short version of the answer now, but elaborate on the answer later...

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