In public management we can observe a continuous search for its own improvement. New arrangements and procedures, often derived from NPM ideas, but also from other PA insights, are put in place with the expectations that public administration as well as its related agencies and networks will function more efficient, effective, transparent, responsive or produce better quality afterwards. A key question, therefore, is whether and when PM reforms and innova-tions ‘work’. Various forms of monitoring and evaluation can help to answer this question. As a matter of fact many public management reforms explicitly include assessment procedures and related feedback mechanisms. However, the PM reforms and their assessment mecha-nisms as such are evaluated far less frequent. This paper aims to explain why this is so and to suggest ways in which such (meta)evaluation can be realized. In doing so, two distinct ‘lo-gics’ of evaluation are identified. The first logic essentially is the rationality of feedback mechanisms (systems theory) that is part of the ‘repertoire’ of much NPM thinking. The other logic is based on social scientific insights in the conditions for and mechanisms of utilization and impact of evaluation processes and results.

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Keywords assessment, evaluation, feedback, innovations, public management, reform
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/10174