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Evaluation in a dangerous time: Reflections on 4 years in a central policy agency in the Government of Nova Scotia

Rick Williams

Why the reference to “a dangerous time” in the article title? I believe that we now live and do evaluation research in a period when governance in advanced democratic societies is unusually difficult. We face deep and far-reaching challenges—climate change, income inequality, disruptive technologies, globalised markets, and so forth—for which there are few low-risk, low-cost solutions. Far-reaching policy shifts are needed to manage or mitigate these threats, all with consequences we cannot fully anticipate. At a societal level, such circumstances give rise to social tensions, insecurity, and resistance to risk taking.

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