A functions approach for evaluating transformative innovation policy
Conference contribution, 2020
The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework based on the technological innovation system (TIS) functions and supplemented by other dimensions suggested by the transformative innovation policy literature to assess sustainability transitions pathways. In other words, we aim to evaluate how policy-mixes are affecting the socio-technical system dynamics. The emergence of the transformative innovation policy paradigm implies new challenges for policy evaluation, most notably in terms of assessing behavioral additionality and the directionality of change. Previously proposed evaluation frameworks highlight important evaluation aspects but do not address these challenges explicitly. Moreover, they contain many redundancies, as existing frameworks have been combined and complemented with new dimensions without much consideration to overlaps between them. In contrast, this paper starts with an existing framework - the TIS functions framework and first analyzes how the functions can be adjusted to become more transformative and then identifies a set of structural niche- and regime-level processes that are not covered by the functions but nevertheless are needed for a transition to occur. Through this framework, we demonstrate how behavioral additionality and directionality can be incorporated into policy evaluation. Furthermore, we discuss how the framework can be used in a formative way to understand along which transition pathway the transition process is currently unfolding.