Pirmin Bundi
Ph.D. Student

Subproject 4: Swiss Parliaments and Evaluation

Evaluation Culture in Legislatives: The Evaluations' Legal Foundation and the Stimulation of Evaluations by Swiss Parliaments

There are two reasons for an evaluation to be of interest to a legislative: On the one hand, there is the potential of incorporating information of evaluations into the legislation process, and on the other hand a legislative can fulfil its oversight function towards the government by commissioning evaluations. Research on evaluations has so far rather investigated their use than their emergence. In order to explain the causes of evaluation culture in Swiss legislatives, the thesis aims to answer the following questions:

1. Which factors explain the characteristics of legal foundations of evaluations in the parliament acts?
2. Which factors explain the stimulation of evaluations by members of parliament with parliamentary requests?
3. Why do legislatives stimulate more evaluations in certain policy fields than in others?

First, the dissertation projects will use a diffusion model to explain the development of legal foundations of evaluations in the parliament acts. Hence, I will analyse documents using an event count model to estimate the diffusion processes for the time between 1990 and 2014 (1). Second, it is argued that the stimulation of evaluations with parliamentary requests in an instrument to reduce the information gap of a legislator towards the government or the administration. In order to explain the legislators’ motivation, a triangulation approach will be pursued. On the one hand, an online survey will be conducted amongst the cantonal and national members of parliament. However, since I assume that parliamentarians overestimate their actual evaluation stimulation, I will systematically collect parliamentary requests which demand an evaluation for 2010 to 2014 (2). Using the same data, I will also analyse the evaluation stimulation in the policy fields by means of interviews with experts and members of parliament (3).

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University of Zurich
Department of Political Science
Affolternstrasse 56
CH-8050 Zurich