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What do practitioners expect from an evaluation report? A qualitative analysis of Dutch crisis management professionals' expectations

Ralf Josef Johanna Beerens (Research Department, Institute for Safety (IFV), Arnhem, The Netherlands) (Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)
Karin Haverhoek-Mieremet (Research Department, Institute for Safety (IFV), Arnhem, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Emergency Services

ISSN: 2047-0894

Article publication date: 26 August 2020

Issue publication date: 6 April 2021




This paper seeks to overcome the mismatch between evaluation reports and the expectations of the target audience, by identifying crisis management professionals' expectations.


An adapted stakeholder information analysis was used to survey the expectations of 84 crisis management professionals in the Netherlands. A general inductive analysis was applied to qualitative data, from which five main themes emerged: purpose; object or focus; reasoning and (meta) analysis; result or conclusion, and the overall design of the evaluation.


Currently, evaluation reports are seen merely as a way to share experience and support thinking about how to avoid repeating mistakes. However, most respondents expected them to contribute to learning and support improvement. They should provide actionable feedback on what could be done differently or better, and indicate how this can be achieved. Respondents emphasised the need to focus on the human factor and not neglect the context. The wide variety of views underlined that it is difficult to create one evaluation product that meets all expectations.

Research limitations/implications

Although some major themes clearly emerged from the data, it is unclear how they relate to each other, and their relative importance. In addition, no distinction is made between evaluations of real events and simulations.

Practical implications

Users should be encouraged to provide input into the evaluation process by clarifying their needs and how they use evaluation reports.


This research is the first attempt to identify user expectations regarding what constitutes an effective evaluation.



The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the Institute for Safety (IFV) of the Netherlands. In addition, the authors would like to thank Professor Henrik Tehler and other reviewers of earlier versions of the manuscript for providing their expertise and feedback.


Beerens, R.J.J. and Haverhoek-Mieremet, K. (2021), "What do practitioners expect from an evaluation report? A qualitative analysis of Dutch crisis management professionals' expectations", International Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 1-25.



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