Cyber society and digital policies: Challenges to evaluation?

F.L. Leeuw*, H.B.M. Leeuw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this article, the authors explore the relationship between (impact) evaluations and cyber society, in particular digital policies. There appears to be a gap between the pace at which internet and digital policies are penetrating society and the attention professional evaluators are paying to these policies. First, we present an analytical framework for studying these policies, while examples of policies are described and categorized. Next, efforts evaluators have made in this area are described based on three different sources. We begin by looking at three public sector institutions and their evaluation activities; then study what peer reviewed evaluation journals have published about digital policies. Finally, we approach a specific field of interventions: digital piracy. A systematic review of 14 studies evaluating the impact of (hypothetical) interventions and mechanisms is presented. Although several studies use designs that are questionable, there is evidence that some mechanisms are able to influence behavioural intentions regarding illegal downloading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-127
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • digital piracy
  • digital policies
  • evaluation journals
  • internet

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