Three factors have helped evaluation to develop in France: (1) contractual policies, which demand a partnership between several institutions, have been set up; (2) by organizing competence transfers, decentralization has given communities the major share of responsibility for implementing policies, something which had previously been done by the State; and, finally, (3) a public service reform policy has been set up within the State administration. The author, after giving a brief description of the various institutions that have been set up, analyzes the discrepancies noted between the interest sparked by the politico-theoretical debate preceding evaluation institutionalization and the paltriness of obtained results, characterized by the meager number of evaluations and the limited promotion of practices.