Plenary Sessions


Plenary Panel

Wednesday September 28, 2016

Evaluative knowledge and knowledge from the disciplines:
What works best when addressing urgent societal problems

Chair: Frans Leeuw

Maastricht University, the Netherlands


Elliot Stern

Editor of ‘Evaluation’ and emeritus Professor Lancaster University, UK


Massimo Florio

Professor of Public Economics and Jean Monnet Chair “Ad personam” of EU Industrial Policy, Public Economics, University of Milan, Italy






Inge de Wolf

Professor of Education Systems, Maastricht University & Netherlands Inspectorate of Education, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Plenary Session

Thursday September 29, 2016

The potential for evaluation to contribute to better policies in Europe

Veronica Gaffey

Director of Resources in the Directorate General for Regional
and Urban Policy of the European Commission

Plenary Session

Friday September 30, 2016

From Ferraris to Fiats - how real world contexts influence evaluation choices

Claire Hutchings

Head of Programme Quality for Oxfam GB


Our keynote and plenary session speakers will take us on a memorable journey of entertaining enlightenment (and enlightening entertainment).

Elliot Stern will represent “evaluation” in a plenary panel chaired by Frans Leeuw, joining two high-level representatives of other social sciences who will compete, or perhaps cooperate, between themselves and with “evaluation”, to provide the most appropriate and highest quality advice to a fictitious prime minister about to design a new policy. The distinctiveness of evaluation in relation to social sciences should brilliantly emerge in a real-time simulation of evidence-based policy making.

Veronica Gaffey will remind us what's at stake for Europe: how evaluation needs to deliver evidence on what works for whom, in what context and why, if it is to contribute to better policies, now and in the future. Finally, Claire Hutchings will pull the threads of the conference together and draw on her experience as an NGO commissioner of evaluations, as a methodological innovator, and as an M&E community developer, to tell us what it takes for innovation in evaluation to spread, and for evaluations to be pervasive and persuasive, making a difference “on the ground”.