Evaluating sustainable development is becoming increasingly important in policy making, evaluation practice and the scientific world in general. However, at present, there is neither a generally accepted set of measures and evaluation methods, nor specific standards to be met. Sustainable Development in Europe addresses these issues and presents an important and concise analysis of state-of-the-art sustainable development evaluation policies, programmes and projects currently at work in Europe. The aim of this book is not to offer an all-encompassing overview of these efforts, but to raise the most significant issues involved in the planning and implementation of an evaluation project at international, national, regional and local levels. These include understanding sustainable development, the aims of the evaluation, the appropriate spatial or administrative level, and the limits of the particular system analysed. The principal topic areas for evaluators focused upon in this volume are concepts, evaluation methods and their applications.
Each topic is accompanied by an illustrative example of a cutting-edge evaluation study indicating how best to apply the theoretically derived approaches in a practical way. In offering a common basis for the further development of research and applications regarding sustainability evaluations, this study will be of great interest to researchers and scholars at many levels of environmental, European, public sector and public policy studies. Evaluators will find methodological approaches and applied tools for their work. Policy makers will find the analysis of the most effective evaluation methodologies vitally useful, and NGOs and NPOs will also find that this book assists them in establishing evaluation as a learning tool.