Evaluating societal impact of living labs

In this workshop participants explore a number of questions relating to the evaluation of societal impact of living labs. The workshop starts from the assumption that a shared understanding and involvement of relevant actors enhance any evaluation. Oher assumptions include that no clear definition of societal impact is available, and that it lacks a blueprint for societal impact evaluation. This is especially true for living labs. However, there are suitable approaches for evaluation of co-creative efforts. These are introduced during the workshop.

The following issues will be addressed by the participants, in several rounds of break-out groups:

(1) Who determines the impact or contribution of a living lab?
Various partners are involved in funding, agenda setting, organising research, sharing and implementing results and ensuring further use. Partners include regional public health and healthcare institutes and municipalities. It is a joint effort.

(2) What is the societal impact of a living lab?
Each of these initiatives operate in a specific context with certain users, relevant questions, and urgency. There are expectations regarding the sort and type of impact, more articulate than “anything goes”.

(3) What is the implication for evaluation?
Other evaluation principles and methods are more appropriate than regular academic evaluation methods (for instance of excellence). The role of academics and of research cannot be viewed separately from the rest of the stakeholders and the initiative. Also the process that precedes impact is crucial. A more comprehensive assessment is necessary and possible.

The workshop is organised by Leonie van Drooge of the Rathenau Instituut and her colleague Sue-Yen Tjong Tjin Tai.

 

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