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Short description / Current status and future steps / Lessons learned:
= Case description =
The Cantonal Administration of Schwyz has successfully completed its pragmatic New Public Management (NPM) reforms with an internal
evaluation unit. It has streamlined its NPM model by centring cost
accounting and controlling activities strictly on those areas where
these activities have the greatest impact. Compensatory to this rather minimalist NPM approach, an internal evaluation unit has been created.
The underlying reason for its creation was that controlling activities are
useful for indicating rough trends, but mostly insufficient for grounding policy decisions. The evaluation activities take the goals and indicators of administration units as a starting point for in-depth policy analysis.
The main goal is to systematically evaluate policy impact and outcome
in the canton of Schwyz.
After a conceptional phase in 2007, the evaluation unit started its work
in January 2008. From an organisational perspective, the evaluation unit directly reports to the governing council. The unit has been purposely kept internal in order to ensure cost-effectiveness as well as a good organisational understanding by the responsible evaluator.
In its first year, the evaluation unit has proved to be a targeted, goal-oriented instrument with a considerable policy impact. Firstly, the evaluations
have been employed in a targeted way by focusing evaluations on those
administration activities with a high level of uncertainty - be it in regard to recent policy changes or in regard to upcoming strategic decisions.
Secondly, the evaluation practice has contributed to improving the
service and goal orientation of administrative entities. By systematically
focusing on the central goals of administrative units, evaluations have
contributed to a successful cultural shift towards a service orientation. Thirdly, evaluations have had a policy impact. Unlike simple indicators,
evaluation reports have provided a sound basis for forthcoming policy
decisions. Results have been used to adjust public policy.