How Evaluation Can Help Drive – Rather Than Hinder – Transformative Efforts to Address Climate Change, Equity and Human Survival
Join Michael Quinn Patton and Mark Cabaj for this new virtual workshop series, running on April 20, 22, 27, and 29, 2021
Transforming evaluation for evaluating transformation examines the contributions that evaluation can make to addressing crises like the coronavirus pandemic, the global climate emergency, and related threats to human survival looming large in Earth’s future.
The three questions this workshop addresses are:
Transformation - What is it? How to do it? How to evaluate it?
This applies beyond climate change mitigation and the global pandemic to related problems of food security, agricultural transformation, equity issues, governance transformations, and the connections between local and global changes. The premise is that evaluation must be transformed if it is to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Traditional project and program evaluation won’t suffice to address transformational systems changes across sectors on a global scale. Indeed, traditional approaches to project and program evaluation can create barriers to transformative change.
The event will look at examples of transformative initiatives and their evaluations, or lack thereof. In so doing, the series will distinguish a theory of transformation from a theory of change. This series will offer principles for global systems transformation as a framework for assessing the likely adequacy of an initiative or intervention to be transformative.
Given that transformational changes are multi-faceted and occur in complex dynamic systems, traditional evaluation concerns about attribution, effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability have to be reframed. For example, systems transformation is different from program outcomes — different in the degree of change, the nature of change, the pace of change, the direction of change, the scale of change, the interconnectedness of change, and the implications for sustainability and systems resilience.
Evaluating transformation requires new ways of conceptualizing and conducting evaluations. That is the focus of this workshop.