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Ewi-Review 7 / May 2009

Ewi-Review 7 / May 2009

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EWI-Review 7 / English
EWI-Review 7 / English

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Periodical of the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation| May 2009
N°7
Combining Economy, Science and Innovation for a better society
 
Evaluation ...
 
... pain
or
gain?
Flemish government
 
Contents
colophon
at p. 51
 
Welcome: Better evaluation for better government 3 Afterthoughts:
 
A fresh new FRIS 4New legislation: The SME wallet: good for business! 5Policy in practice:
 
Short of cash? 6In a nutshell:
 
Towards the use of evaluation as the cornerstone of strategic intelligence 8The Flanders Evaluation Platform: knowledge and know-how 10Main theme:
 
Tried and tested evaluation practice at EWI 11From Europe:
 
Policy learning: the transfer of good knowledge transfer practices 14From Flanders:The IWT to measure is to know 16Main theme:Getting the measure of things: VRWB – core indicators for the follow-up of the Flemish Innovation Pact 18Main theme:
 
Public research in Flanders: a core (re)actor with international allure 20Main theme:
 
Hercules finances research infrastructure24In the spotlight:
 
Spotlight on the additionality of innovation support! 28A closer look at:
 
Formulas for success? 30Focus on:
 
The university hit-parade 33In conversation with:Innovation policy is the last area where you should be making cuts 36Across the border:A European methodology in sight40In the spotlight:
 
Building bridges between the research world, industry and the government 41Policy research centres:
 
The STeR shines brightly in various fields of research
 44
EWI in action:
 
Flanders strengthens its creative industry through the Programme for Innovative Media (PIM) 47In summary:
 
Scientific communication online 48Column: Know what you want to know 50
2
 
Betterevaluation 
for
bettergovernment
The public trusts that policy-makers – including the politicians– will use the taxpayer’s hard-earned money wisely. The policyimplementers – including government agencies – are expectedto use the available resources both efficiently (without waste)and effectively (achieving positive results). As far as policyplanners are concerned – including various governmentdepartments – it is assumed (and rightly) that they willdevelop meaningful proposals and working methods whichwill contribute to the success of worthwhile initiatives.A willingness to be constantly accountable for your performance is a sign of good management – and goodgovernment. And in times of crisis - when needs are greater and state funding is correspondingly less – it is only right andproper that responsible-minded citizens should look moreclosely at the way their government functions.Evaluations are an ideal tool to show that an implementedpolicy has achieved the desired objectives in the intendedmanner – or not, as the case may be. Evaluations can becarried out in advance, during the planning and proposalphase (ex ante); or at regular intervals during implementation(intermediary); or after completion of the relevant action,event or measure (ex post). Many different aspects of aproject can be measured and the results can then be compared with prior expectations. This allows theidentification of points for improvement and may suggest a better method of approach for future plans. Inthis manner, the policy circle is neatly closed.Sometimes it is difficult to measure directly the things that we would like to measure. As a result, wesometimes measure other, ‘easier’ things in their place. Sometimes it is difficult to find a valid point ofcomparison for our results: we have plenty of figures, but we don’t always know how to interpret them.Sometimes important elements are viewed out of their proper context, or are even overlooked completely.No one said that evaluation was easy, and there are plenty of stumbling blocks which need to be avoidedbefore you can finally find the correct methodology. With this aim in mind, the Study Service of the FlemishGovernment recently published a book entitled ‘Over beleidsevaluatie: van theorie naar praktijk en terug’(Policy evaluation: from theory to practice – and back again)
1
.In this edition we will be looking at various types and examples of evaluation practices within the policyfield of the EWI. To begin with, the EWI will sketch its own approach to evaluations (p. 11), while the IWTwill evaluate its own evaluation tools (p. 16), and the VRWB will explain how it follows the precepts of theFlemish Innovation Pact. (p. 18). The interview with Professor Luke Georghiou of the Manchester BusinessSchool (p. 36) also devotes considerable attention to the subject of evaluation. In addition, we will behighlighting the work of another of our policy research centres: this time the Flemish Policy Research Centrefor Tourism (p. 44). The fourth strategic research centre, the IBBT, will also be explored in more depth(p. 41), and a number of new legislative measures will be analysed and explained: the small businessesportfolio (p. 5), the Programme for Innovative Media (p. 47) and the revised services of the PMV and theGIMV (p. 6). Finally, EWI is proud to report a noteworthy success: our Knowledge Management Division -this department’s entry for the annual innovation awards issued by the Flemish Government - recently wonthe prestigious SPITS Prize for 2009 (p. 4).In short, we are once again offering you plenty of food for thought – and evaluation. We hope that you willfind it interesting. As always, reactions are welcome on
http://www.ewi-vlaanderen.be/review
.
Peter Spyns,General Editor 
> Welcome
1 Dries Verlet and Carl Devos (ed.), 2008, Over beleidsevaluatie: van theorie naar praktijk en terug, Study Service of the FlemishGovernment, SVR-Study 2008/2. For more information about this study: Dries.Verlet@dar.vlaanderen.be
3

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