13th European Evaluation Society Biennial Conference

Keynote lecture 1

Wednesday, 3 October


Lyn Ellen Pleger

Zhaw School of Management and Law, Switzerland

Lyn Ellen Pleger Lyn E. Pleger is a Research Associate and Project Manager at the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Public Management. She studied Public Management and Policy with a focus on Public Finance and Economics at the University of Bern and the University of Lausanne. In 2017, she completed her PhD at the University of Bern, KPM Center for Public Management, before working at the KPM as a Postdoctoral Researcher. In her PhD dissertation, she examined democratic acceptance determinants of spatial planning policy measures. One of her central research interests are evaluations and she has published articles on the issue of independence of evaluations in scientific journals, including the American Journal of Evaluation and Evaluation and Program Planning. Together with Prof. Dr. Fritz Sager, Lyn Pleger received the Swiss Evaluation Society’s annual congress award (‘Prix Seval’) in 2015 for their work on evaluation and independence.


Frans Leeuw

University of Maastricht, Law, Public Policy and Social Science Research, Professor, the Netherlands

Frans Leeuw Prof. Frans Leeuw is Professor of Law, Public Policy and Social Science Research, Maastricht University and also Senior Advisor, Ministry of Justice & Security, the Netherlands for knowledge management and Big Data. Earlier positions were (amongst others) director of the Justice & Security Research Center, Professor of Evaluation Studies (Utrecht University), Dean of the Humanaties Faculty of the Netherlands Open University, Chief Inspector of Higher Education for the Netherlaands; and Director of Performance Audit and Evaluation of the Netherlands National Audit Office.

He was one of the co-founders of the European Evaluation Society and acted as President of the EES. He was also President of the Netherlands Evaluation Society.

His most recent book is: Empirical Legal Resarch, a Guidance book (with Hans Schmeets, EE Publishers, 2016). Papers were published in peer reviewed journals like Evaluation, The American Journal of Evaluation, The European Journal of Criminal Policy and Research, Zeitschrift fur Evaluation, Information Polity, European Journal; New Directions for Evaluation. Evaluation Journal of Australasia Australasian, Journal of Development Effectiveness and many more.


Keynote lecture 2

Thursday, 4 October


Thomas Schwandt

University of Illinois, Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology, USA

Thomas Schwandt Thomas A. Schwandt is Professor Emeritus, Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. He currently works as an evaluation advisor. He has written extensively about evaluation theory and practice. In addition to more than 90 journal articles and book chapters, his published books include Evaluation Foundations Revisited: Cultivating a Life of the Mind for Practice (Stanford University Press, 2015); Evaluation Practice Reconsidered (Peter Lang, 2002); Evaluating Holistic Rehabilitation Practice (Kommuneforlaget AS, 2004); Dictionary of Qualitative Inquiry (4th ed. Sage, 2015); with Edward Halpern, Linking Auditing and Meta-evaluation (Sage, 1988); and, with Ken Prewitt and Miron Straf, Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy (National Academies Press, 2012). He has co-edited Exploring Evaluator Role and Identity (with K. Ryan, Information Age Press, 2002) and Evaluating Educational Reforms: Scandinavian Perspectives (with P. Haug, Information Age Press, 2003). In 2002 he received the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award from the American Evaluation Association for his contributions to evaluation theory. He is editor emeritus of the American Journal of Evaluation; member of the editorial board of Evaluation: The International Journal of Theory, Research & Practice; member of the Evaluation Advisory Panel for the Independent Evaluation Office of the United Nations Development Program and a member of the EVALSDGs network of researchers, evaluators, and policymakers committed to developing the role of evaluation in the achievement of the SDGs. Much of his work is informed by the tradition of philosophical hermeneutics and its concern with practical reasoning. In recent years his research has been focused on evidence-based reasoning and data-driven decision making. He is currently at work on a book on valuing and evidence in evaluation and applied social research.


Keynote lecture 3

Thursday, 4 October


Caroline Heider

World Bank Independent Evaluation Group, Director-General , USA

Caroline Heider Caroline Heider is currently the Director General of the Independent Evaluation Group at the World Bank (IEG), a position she has held since 2011. Ms. Heider has dedicated the last 30 years of her career to evaluating the work of development and humanitarian organizations, transforming findings into lessons and promoting innovative ways for institutions to apply the knowledge derived from evaluations towards accelerating development effectiveness. As a senior leader, Ms. Heider has a proven track record in leading change, strengthening institutions, and building evaluation capacity through testing and trying new methods to get to better evidence and greater insights. She has first-hand experience evaluating policies and programs in over 30 countries around the world.

Ms. Heider is a leading voice in the international evaluation community. She is a life-time member of the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS) and a member of the American Evaluation Association. She chaired the Global Evaluation Advisory Committee of UN Women for the first years of its existence. In the past, she has been a member of the Australasian Evaluation Society and served a 2-year term as vice-chair of the UN Evaluation Group.

Before IEG, Ms. Heider headed the Office of Evaluation at the World Food Program. She has also held leading positions in the evaluation offices of the Asian Development Bank and several UN agencies, including the International Fund for Agriculture Development, the UN Development Program, and UN Industrial Development Organization.


Keynote lecture 4

Friday, 5 October


Elliot Stern

Lancaster University, Evaluation Research, Emeritus Professor, United Kingdom
University of Bristol, Honorary Fellow
International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, Editor of Evaluation

Elliot Stern Elliot Stern is Editor of the journal Evaluation; and past President of the UK and European Evaluation Societies. He is Emeritus Professor of Evaluation Research at Lancaster University; a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences; and Honorary Research Fellow at University of Bristol. His current evaluation practice focuses on evaluation quality; integrating evaluation into policy-making; and evaluation system development. This involves working mainly with the European Commission, OECD, UNDP and a number of UK agencies and government Departments.

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