The systematic examination and assessment of the performance and results of our work is an important tool for quality assurance and quality development. Consistent use of this tool is intended to ensure the fulfilment of objectives and tasks laid down in the association’s articles of association, to demonstrate the effectiveness of our work as well as further improving it.
As a recipient of public funds, we are expected to use them effectively and efficiently. Quantitative proof alone does not suffice: Grant authorities and the public are entitled to know what sustainable effects the projects and measures have actually had. Besides a quantitative assessment (“counting, weighing and measuring”), it is also about assessing and evaluating work results. From a methodological perspective, this is a highly ambitious undertaking: Especially when evaluating political education and consultancy work, there has been no “scientific silver bullet for success”. Hence, we also understand evaluation to be both a challenge and learning process alike.
Since the 1970s, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has been assessing cooperation projects in development policy and has acquired a high level of competence and recognition in the process. Its own Executive Department of Evaluation is responsible for this, which each year evaluates or has evaluated eight to ten international cooperation projects (usually by external experts). The staff department then monitors the implementation of evaluation recommendations.
There has also been an evaluation of measures pertaining to domestic work for a number of years. Since 2009, the coordination group, consisting of representatives from all of the foundation’s departments, have been dealing with the various evaluation measures in the foundation. It also ensures that a cross-foundation, consistent, systematic and binding procedure is applied when conducting evaluations. A guideline on evaluation procedures was drawn up for this purpose. The coordination group is also developing recommendations for employees and experts.