Integrated Framework for Evaluation of National Foresight Studies
With the growing importance of Foresight in strategic decision-making, there is parallel growth in interest in ways in which we might evaluate Foresight activities and outputs, and thus learn how to improve their effectiveness. But general principles for such evaluation have not yet been formulated. The purpose of this chapter is to identify the basic criteria and methods used in evaluating national Foresight exercises. Reviewing a range of evaluation efforts, it presents some interesting results for specific tasks, themes examined, methods and findings. A key motivation for these evaluations was to provide feedback to national Foresight organizations and identify areas for further development. Evaluation is used to guide Foresight and to learn lessons that can inform future projects (for example, lessons concerning simplifying implementation, involving business and social organizations, recognizing the objectives of participants and the need for better compliance with the methodology). We suggest a general methodology for assessing national Foresight programmes, together with a framework that can be used to improve the comparability of results of Foresight evaluation initiatives in different countries, and even to promote the standardization and upgrading of evaluation procedures.