4.5 Evaluation and knowledge generation for conceptual use
From the discussion so far it is clear that evaluations can be undertaken for a variety of reasons. Clarke suggests another that is neither formative nor summative, but which deserves mention before concluding this section: ‘knowledge-generation for conceptual use’ (Clarke, 1999). Returning to the UK ID card scheme, for example, we could generate data that can advance our understanding of the extent to which the massive database, and the data-mining and matching systems on which the ID card would have been based, act as liberating or controlling influences on our lives. It may well be that the historical understanding of the concepts of freedom and control are no longer relevant when twenty-first century technologies are employed in this way, and that ‘big brother’ is an inevitable consequence.