Methodology and Data Basis

Methodological approach

The Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG) conducted a nationwide survey in 2023 to assess and monitor evaluation capacities in the field of extremism prevention, democracy promotion and civic education in Germany. Following an initial survey from 2020/2021, this time the survey focused primarily on current challenges and specific evaluation needs.

In order to also better monitor changes in the evaluation landscape, interviewees from the first survey wave were included in the 2023 data collection phase.

Other evaluation actors were identified from federal and state programs down to the municipal level. Extensive online and offline research was carried out for this purpose and important gatekeepers (such as state democracy centers) and other stakeholders were also included in the identification phase. The data pool was supplemented by feedback from needs assessments conducted in cooperation with the »Kompetenznetzwerk Islamistischer Extremismus (KN:IX)« and the »Kompetenznetzwerk Rechtsextremismusprävention (KompRex)« in the first PrEval project phase. With the help of the MAPEX survey data, further self-evaluating prevention actors could be identified and included in the PrEval survey. Additional stakeholders were also identified using (automated) web scraping of relevant online sources.

Selection criteria

External and self-evaluation actors were selected by the following criteria:

External evaluation
  • The aim was to obtain a comprehensive dataset of external evaluation organizations in the field of extremism prevention, democracy promotion and civic education in Germany.
  • The survey did not include self-employed individuals, freelancers, or consulting firms that only evaluate business processes (e.g. management consulting services).

A total of 83 institutions were identified in the area of external evaluation.


Among others, the project executing organizations already surveyed in the first survey phase 2020/2021 were included:

  • Organizations based on feedback from the KN:IX and KompRex surveys (see above).
  • Organizations included in the MAPEX dataset which had indicated that they had already carried out a self-evaluation and were active in at least one of the phenomenon areas: Islamist extremism, right-wing extremism, left-wing extremism.
  • Individual projects or measures were not taken into account unless they acted as a competence or advice center.
  • Organizations that later stated in the interviews that they carried out external evaluations internally were included in the self-evaluation dataset. The different operational areas could not always be clearly distinguished in these cases (i.e. there was an overlap between evaluation and project work among the involved personnel). So they could be seen as self-evaluation actors.

Due to the limited duration of the PrEval project, it was not possible to draw a random sample across the entire practitioner and civil society landscape in Germany. Based on the sources mentioned above, it could be assumed that the majority of the selected institutions had already conducted self-evaluations or internal evaluations.

In total, 200 institutions could be identified in the field of self-evaluation.

Survey and field phase

The data was collected from March to October 2023. The questionnaire for external and self-evaluation was based on a common set of questions with specific questions for each evaluation area.

The survey phase was preceded by a standard pretest in order to identify any further evaluation needs, adjust the survey dimensions and to check the questionnaire for comprehensibility and statistical suitability.

The survey was conducted in two stages. In the first part, the evaluation actors were invited to take part in an online survey. In the second stage, follow-up qualitative telephone interviews were conducted to explore specific topics in greater depth. The survey categories included:

  • evaluation actors
  • evaluation clients
  • applied evaluation approaches
  • qualifications and qualification requirements
  • success criteria and objectives of evaluations
  • evaluated work areas and prevention levels
  • challenges, evaluation and research needs from the evaluators’ perspective
  • needs for support in self/internally conducted evaluations
  • practiced evaluation culture

More than 35 different categories were queried. The interviews were conducted by the IKG project staff.

The questionnaire was created using LimeSurvey. This allowed the responses from the online survey to be completed directly via the graphical user interface during the follow-up telephone interview. The survey database then provided the basis for the digital platform for visualizing the research data.