In this chapter I will discuss what evaluation does and can contribute to insight in the dynamics and effects of (new) public management reforms. To do so, I pose three key ques-tions: 1. How is evaluation actually applied in relation to NPM-reforms? 2. How are evaluation results used and how can their impact be understood? 3. How can evaluations in and of NPM-reforms be improved? The theoretical framework that I will present to help answering the second question will also be used to explain the state of affairs in relation to the first question. Moreover, it will be used, in combination with empirical observations to support the conclusions with respect to question 3. Before going into the three questions in turn I present some observations on the broader context of reforms in the public domain. In my view this is relevant for the present subject, because evaluation of specific measures or of specific (classes of) reforms should take into account relevant boundary conditions and goals or requirements that are not explic-itly included in the focal measures.

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Department of Public Administration

van der Meer, F.-B. (2007). New Public Management and Evaluation. Retrieved from