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CECAN Webinar: The Pluralistic Evaluation Framework for Policy Evaluation

Online, 20 Nov 2018, 1pm
Richard Gunton

Tuesday 20th November 2018, 13:00 – 14:00 GMT

Presenter: Richard Gunton, CECAN Fellow

Webinar Overview:

In a democratic system, how can we show that a policy has improved a complex situation in a way that represents good use of public funds? “Improve” and “good” are very general words, calling for pluralistic evaluation. That is, to do justice to the complexity of a situation, evaluations should account for (a) the different kinds of systems that a policy may impact simultaneously, (b) the values of different stakeholders, and (c) the different ways in which any stakeholder may value changes to a situation. A comprehensive evaluation ought to account for the wide range of interests that may be held by diverse stakeholders concerning the multiple components of a situation of interest.

The pluralistic evaluation framework is offered as a way to frame such pluralistic evaluations. Based on a philosophical model – the theory of law-spheres – it offers 15 categories of functioning and valuing to provide a comprehensive framework for thinking about stakeholders, systems and values. Building on insights from workshops with environmental policymakers last summer, this webinar will provide an introduction to the pluralistic evaluation framework. Participants should benefit from gaining:

  • An outline template of the framework for policy design and evaluation
  • An introduction to a general values framework for assessing any policy issue
  • Some ideas for the interpretation and implementation of high-level policy documents such as Defra’s 25-Year Plan and Natural England’s Conservation 21 strategy, to operationalise the “values” emphasis of these documents.

The focus will be on environmental policy evaluation, but the ideas should be applicable to other areas as well, and to all stages of the policy cycle. For a full ex-post evaluation, the pluralistic evaluation framework can be used to inform a range of formal evaluation methods.

Presenter Biography:

Richard Gunton is an interdisciplinary researcher He currently lectures in statistics at the University of Winchester and is a Visiting Research Fellow in ecology at the University of Leeds, from where he obtained his PhD in 2007. Since then he has undertaken postdoctoral research in ecology, contributed to an international project on philosophy of biology and led a faith-based working group looking at the concept of ecosystem services in nature conservation. He recently stepped down as a Research Fellow in financial system stability at Sciteb in London in order to pursue his research in tools for environmental policy evaluation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the British Ecological Society as well as a CECAN Fellow. Over the last year with CECAN he has led workshops with Defra in London and with the York Environmental Sustainability Institute, developing the topic of today’s webinar.

How to Join:

This talk will take part via GoToWebinar – please register for a place via the following link.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. In case you are unable to attend, a recording of the webinar will be uploaded to our website following the event.

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