Joint session of the DeGEval Board and fteval at the DeGEval Annual Conference 2022.

Studies and expert reports commissioned by public authorities – including evaluations – are an essential component of evidence-based policy. Often, not only the questions are formulated by the commissioners, but also whether or when the results will be published. These aspects of agenda setting, as well as some other features, indicate an imbalance of power between commissioning and commissioning parties. Can commissioners counter this by committing to standards of evaluation or commissioned research (e.g. the DeGEval standards, fteval standards, Memorandum of Understanding of some Austrian research institutions)? With a commitment to comply with such professional standards, contractors, sometimes even together with commissioners as in the case of the fteval standards, formulate a self-commitment to comply with methodological standards in the implementation of commissioned research, transparency and traceability of the results, and the publication of reports is defined as a standard.

The question now arises as to what challenges are associated with the implementation of such a voluntary commitment in evaluation and in research institutions and how these can be brought into negotiations with commissioning bodies. hat accompanying measures are necessary to ensure that this voluntary commitment can be adhered to? But how can one also get a commitment from the commissioning party to support and adhere to these standards, especially if the evaluation results turn out to be critical? What opportunities and risks do legal provisions (e.g. disclosure obligations) offer in relation to evaluations commissioned or financed by public bodies?

After an input on the “Memorandum of Understanding” initiative of Austrian research institutions, representatives of different institutions will discuss their experiences with the implementation of the standards or the Memorandum of Understanding and related challenges against the background of their own experiences in their respective field of practice or research.


  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Beywl, FHNW, Aargau (Panel)
  • Karin Grasenick, convelop, Graz (Panel)
  • Dr. Markus Steinich, GIZ, Bonn (Panel)
  • Mag.a Margit Harjung, BMK, Wien (Panel)
  • Dr. Jürgen Janger, WIFO, Wien (Input – präsentation slides for download and below)
  • Prof. Dr. Udo Kelle, DeGEval, Hamburg (Discussant)
  • Mag.a Birgit Woitech, fteval, Wien (Discussant)
  • Angela Wroblewski (Moderation)