Evaluation that supports social, ecological, and governance systems change and transformation raises ethical questions about what and whose worldviews do and should ground evaluative processes. This article illustrates one approach to ethical analysis within a case study of the first phase of an initiative to co-create a monitoring, evaluation, and learning system. The case drew on the principles of Blue Marble Evaluation in partnership with local staff and Indigenous leaders of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative. The approach uses critical and relational systems thinking to examine the sources of motivation, power, knowledge, and legitimacy that influence and should influence an evaluation system. Results reframe typical early phase evaluation process work from a contractual agreement to a co-created ethical space that engenders the legitimacy of the evaluation process. Contributions include a conceptual framework and process for ethical analysis that could be adapted by others.
Gates, E. F., Page, G., Crespo, J. M., Oporto, M. N., & Bohórquez, J.