Energizing the Energy Policy Process: The Impact of Evaluation

By Roberta W. Walsh; John G. Heilman | Go to book overview

14
Evaluating Market Transformation 1

Ralph Prahl and Jeff Schlegel

Editors' Note: Ralph Prahl and Jeff Schlegel devote this chapter to the concept of market transformation as an emerging paradigm for evaluation research. The starting point for this perspective is the observation that at least some energy management programs have impacts that reach far beyond the period in which they are operational. A principal way in which they produce these long-lasting impacts is by generating changes in the market to which they are addressed. As we have noted, the interplay between the public and private sectors is one of the most dynamic aspects of energy program design, as is the evolving nature of the programs themselves. Here, the impact of evaluation is to make possible a paradigmatic reorientation of programmatic design and objectives. As the authors argue, these transformations cannot be effectively undertaken unless evaluation methodology is available to illuminate what happens along the way. The reorientation involved is thus paradigmatic in terms of research methods as well as program design: Evaluating market transformation will require some fundamental changes in evaluation research. While market transformation is currently at the conceptual stage and not explicitly identified as an objective in program designs, the implications of this concept for all aspects of the policy process are far-reaching. They expand the confines of energy program evaluation beyond the actual implementing organizations and regulators, where applicable, to the full scope of the marketing system -- from product research, design, production, and distribution to consumption. Enormous opportunities and challenges lie ahead for

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