What is evaluation and why do we do it?
Evaluation in NERC is a retrospective assessment of performance and one of the key sources of information for NERC's Strategic Management Tool, which we use to manage our progress with delivering strategy and to inform our decision making.
NERC routinely conducts and publishes evaluations and has published the following recent evaluation reports:
- Progress in delivering natural hazards research
- The processes used to commission strategic research programmes
- The quality and impact of Responsive Mode research
How has evaluation changed?
When and how we choose to conduct our evaluations has become more flexible. Historically, NERC often conducted evaluations before renewing particular investments. Evaluation is now no longer directly linked to renewal processes. Instead, it is one of a range of business performance management processes which give us a better picture of how well we and our investments are performing.
How does NERC evaluate?
In summary NERC will:
agree an evaluation programme which will be published annually.
base the programme on information needed by:
- Internal decision-makers. Such as Council, Science & Innovation Strategy Board, Chief Executive, Directors. For example, they need information to help make strategic decisions, manage performance, and improve business processes.
- External audiences. Such as government, the academic community, industry and the public.
Evaluate any aspect of NERC's strategies, policies, processes and investments depending on what we need to find out. For example, it could be a theme from NERC's new strategy, an aspect of knowledge transfer, a group of centres, or perhaps a particular scheme or policy.
Clearly define why each evaluation is needed, who the key players are, and how the findings will be used.
Make use of existing performance information where possible to avoid duplication of effort.
Design the scope, methodology and timing of each evaluation so that it meets the identified needs for evidence. This will be done in consultation with key stakeholders.
Conduct the evaluations either internally, by an internal or external panel, or by a consultant.
Produce a concise report for each evaluation. The reports will be published on our website, accompanied by a brief management response. Confidential discussions or conclusions will be withheld in confidential annexes consistent with NERC's Freedom of Information Policy on Peer Review.
Further information about NERC's approach to evaluation is contained in NERC's evaluation strategy, which was written for NERC's science community and staff.
Evaluation strategy (422KB)
The Evaluation Programme lists the evaluations planned for this financial year.
Evaluation reports are also available.