EES in Maastricht – some reflections

Standards in evaluation have been discussed many times. Quality and standards also featured at the 2016 EES conference. There are several standards around, but the question is who evaluates the standards? Several discussants pointed out that current standards often become straightjackets that hinder innovation, cost-effectiveness and other qualities. It was suggested that they have no empirical base, that is, there is no research actually linking them to quality in evaluations. Furhermore many standrads focus on process issues rather than on the substance of what is in evaluations. Perhaps there is a need to revisit current frameworks of quality standards, such as the Program Evaluation Standards and the OECD/DAC standards.