Up to and including June 2022, the PrEval network conducted research on the scientific monitoring of evaluations in German extremism prevention and at the interfaces with violence prevention and political education. In addition to a survey of evaluation capacities and evaluation needs on the part of professional practice, the researchers also developed and tested multi-method evaluation designs.
The results of the surveys and pilot studies are now available in the form of ten PRIF reports (in German), which are openly accessible for download and make recommendations to the various actors involved in prevention and evaluation. The project focused on close cooperation with partners from administration, academia, prevention practice, and from the field of civic education.
One of the fundamental findings of the research is that the German prevention landscape is as diverse as its needs and capacities, and that evaluation projects and methods must always do justice to these. Also central are a participatory approach and close exchange between evaluators, those evaluated and funders, which also broadens the perspectives for scientific monitoring.
Against this background, the researchers recommend strengthening time and personnel resources in the projects as well as intensifying the dialogue between all actors involved in – but also about – evaluation projects. Due to the complexity of evaluation issues, programs and networks, the flexible use of evaluation methods and approaches is particularly recommended, especially against the background of an increasingly diversifying prevention landscape. In the context of PrEval, this became clear in the field of civic education – for example, in detention and digital formats.
PrEval was funded by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and Home Affairs (BMI) for a period of just over two years.
The research and results of the project coincide with the federal government's plan to launch a so-called “Democracy Promotion Act” before the end of 2022, which is primarily intended to strengthen civil society engagement in this area. At the same time, the expanded research network has been continuing its work since October 2022 in the follow-up project “Future Workshops Evaluation and Quality Assurance in Extremism Prevention, Democracy Promotion and Political Education: Analysis, Monitoring, Dialogue”, which is also coordinated at PRIF. Here, evaluation in democracy promotion will be an integral part of the work and will be researched in close cooperation with partners from the field.
All information on the objectives of PrEval can be found on the project's website at preval.hsfk.de. Information on the follow-up project will also be available there shortly.