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Anthropocene as Context Principle

To deal with the complexities of global issues and problems we need principles to guide us, not a rule book to tie us down.


Human actions have created the global problems humanity faces; human actions are necessary to resolve these problems; thus, there are things for evaluators to know about global sustainability in the context of the Anthropocene to undertake evaluations knowledgeably and credibly.


  • This principle calls on evaluators and those with whom we work and engage to understand the realities of the Anthropocene and use evaluative thinking and evaluation processes to contribute to more sustainable and equitable human/ecosystem trajectories for the future.
  • Apply systematic anthropogenic analysis in designing and evaluating interventions and initiatives.
  • Make a balanced assessment identifying the bad things that are happening and acknowledging the good things that are happening, and use that assessment to identify priorities and opportunities.
  • Use methods appropriate to map and track anthropogenic challenges.
  • Be transparent and assertive about what is at stake for all involved, including the evaluators. Evaluators are not outside looking in. Evaluators, their families and communities, are affected by Anthropocenic trends. Evaluators have skin in the game.
For more on the Anthropocene as Context Principle, click here to watch a recording of the BME Book Club discussion.