Transform evaluation to evaluate transformation.
Current evaluation practices, adequate for program and project evaluation, are inadequate for evaluating transformation. For evaluation to contribute to transformational engagements and become part of the solution rather than part of the problem, evaluation must be transformed in alignment with the thrust and trajectory of systems transformations globally. Blue Marble principles provide guidance for that alignment and transformation.
Applying the Transformation Fidelity Principle to evaluation means ensuring that what is called transformation constitutes transformation, and that what aspires to movement along a trajectory toward transformational engagement is on such a trajectory. Here, then, based on the Blue Marble principles, is our vision and agenda for transforming evaluation to evaluate transformational engagements a results:
- Move from a project-mindset to global (Blue Marble) thinking.
- Treat all evaluations at whatever level as open systems affected by global trends.
- Connect the global and the local.
- Integrate design, engagement, implementation and evaluation.
- Engage across sectors and issues.
- Examine the interactions among Sustainable Development goals.
- Aggregate and disaggregate data beyond nation-state averages to highlight and better understand variations within and across countries.
- Treat global systems, even the whole Earth, as the evaluand.
- Move from theory of change to theory of transformation for developing and evaluating transformations.
- Advocate for conceptual fidelity: Ensure that what is called global is in fact global; ensure that what is called transformational actually constitutes transformation.
- Move from an external, independent stance to a skin-in-the game stance.
- Move beyond ending evaluations at the end of projects and programs; instead, encourage support for follow-up evaluations that address resilient sustainability (not just rigid continuity of what has already been accomplished).
- Move beyond evaluator competence to being world savvy through ongoing learning
- Make contributions to global sustainability a universal criterion in evaluations.
- Adopt and adapt new technologies to serve Blue Marble evaluations.