This report presents the key highlights and contributions from the conference ‘Monitoring and Evaluation for Inclusive and Sustainable Food Systems’. This conference was held on 3-4 April 2019 in Wageningen, the Netherlands and was the twelfth annual ‘M&E on the Cutting Edge’ conference. This event was organised by Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) in collaboration with Wageningen Economic Research and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform. This conference aimed to seek clarity in the role that monitoring and evaluation can play to support the transition toward inclusive and sustainable food systems.
Presenters: Michael Quinn Patton, Pablo Vidueira
Summary: Hear from the world's first Blue Marble Evaluator, Pablo Vidueira, about his work supporting the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, an alliance of mostly private foundations working to leverage their resources and networks to get sustainable food systems on the political, economic, and social agenda.
This webinar is now complete. Recording currently unavailable. Please check back soon.
Summary: Around the world, an extensive network of people and initiatives are transforming food systems. Beacons of Hope: Accelerating Food Systems Transformation is a project by the Global Alliance for the Future of Food that aims to amplify the power and potential of transforming food systems to address critical global issues such as climate change, biodiversity, equity, and health. Drawing on the experiences of these initiatives and transitions literature research, the Global Alliance developed a Food Systems Transformation Framework to better understand the transformation process.
Frameworks help us understand, analyze, and shift systems. What can we learn from past transformations? How do systemic transformations occur? What conditions foster change? How do we distinguish between incremental shifts and transformative change? Join this webinar featuring Lauren Baker, Director of Programs at the Global Alliance to learn how Blue Marble Evaluation is guiding phase two of the Beacons of Hope project.
Presenters: Lauren Baker and Pablo Vidueira
The Global Alliance for the Future of Food provides a case exemplar of incorporating systems thinking, complexity understandings, and developmental evaluation into systems transformation work. This trans-formational engagement is not just rhetoric but is deeply embedded as the focus of the Global Alliance’s ongoing work. It is, importantly, predicated on in-depth and long-term cocreation and collaboration between alliance leadership and an independent external evaluator. This chapter will tell the story of how the Global Alliance incorporated systems thinking, complexity understandings, and principles-focused developmental evaluation into systems transformation work through the reflective practice of the co-authors, Ruth Richardson, the Global Alliance Executive Director, and Michael Quinn Patton, the developmental evaluation consultant to the Global Alliance
Presenter: Claire Nickin & Marah Moore
Summary: Learn about an ongoing Blue Marble Evaluation of the Collaborative Crop Research Program. The McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) funds collaborative research between smallholder farmers, leading local researchers, and development practitioners to explore solutions for sustainable, local food systems.
Presenters: Kofi Agbogah and Alasdair Harris
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Hosted by Glenn Page and Michael Quinn Patton.
This webinar dives into the case study presented here, with a focus on the Blue Marble Integration principle.
Small scale, wild capture fisheries provide employment, food, and livelihoods for tens of millions of people globally. Listen here as we introduce Kofi Agbogah Executive Director of of Hen Mopano in Ghana and Dr. Alasdair Harris Executive Director of Blue Ventures as they discuss truly innovative and integrative programs. As background, approximately a third of wild fish landings come from artisanal and subsistence fishers and most recent estimates suggest that small scale fisheries account for over 90 percent of the world’s commercial fishers, processors and other persons employed along the seafood value chain. This is equivalent to over 100 million people – making small scale fisheries far and away the ocean’s largest employer. Small scale fisheries are a critical component of global food security; fish provide between 15-20% of animal protein worldwide, and a much larger share for coastal fishing communities. Small scale fishing is also stitched into the cultural fabric of coastal communities. For many communities, fishing represents not just an economic livelihood but a way of life that has shaped the development, stewardship values, and traditions that define social and cultural identities. Beyond the hard numbers of landings and employment, healthy and vibrant small scale fisheries provide critical cultural services to the communities that depend on them.
Despite their importance, small scale fisheries are often hidden or absent from national statistics and frequently ignored in states’ policy-making. This, in most contexts, has led to a lack of effective management and social safety nets, which drives destructive fishing practices that threaten coastal ocean ecosystems and the livelihoods of coastal communities and individuals. With millions of people dependent on small scale fisheries, and given their impact on nearshore ecosystems, small scale fisheries sit squarely at the intersection of social development and ecological stewardship.
In recent decades, there has been a shift to devolve more management authority to the local level and the tenants of what constitutes responsible and sustainable management are becoming clear. Several ambitious efforts have emerged over the last few years to effectively support small scale fisheries. The momentum in support of small scale fisheries is an exciting development, and the funding community is well-positioned to support a cohesive movement that supports resilient and equitable small scale fisheries across the global.
Fundamental systems transformations are needed to address the global emergency brought on by climate change and related global trends, including the COVID-19 pandemic, which, together, pose existential threats to the future of humanity. Transformation has become the clarion call on the global stage. Evaluating transformation requires criteria. The revised Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development/Development Assistance Committee criteria are adequate for business as usual summative and accountability evaluations but are inadequate for addressing major systems transformations. Six criteria for evaluating transformations are offered, discussed, and illustrated by applying them to the pandemic and the Global Alliance for the Future of Food. The suggested criteria illustrate possibilities. The criteria for judging any intervention should be developed in the context of and aligned with the purpose of a specific evaluation and information needs of primary intended users. This article concludes that the greatest danger for evaluators in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s criteria.
Kyle Whyte is George Willis Pack Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. Dr. Whyte's research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and science organizations, and problems of Indigenous justice in public and academic discussions of food sovereignty, environmental justice, and the anthropocene. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Kyle has partnered with numerous Tribes, First Nations and inter-Indigenous organizations in the Great Lakes region and beyond on climate change planning, education and policy. He is involved in projects and organizations that advance Indigenous research methodologies, including the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup, Sustainable Development Institute of the College of Menominee Nation, Tribal Climate Camp, and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. He has served as an author on reports by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and is former member of the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science and the Michigan Environmental Justice Work Group. Kyle's work has received the Bunyan Bryant Award for Academic Excellence from Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, MSU's Distinguished Partnership and Engaged Scholarship awards, and grants from the National Science Foundation.
This video is introduced by Zoltan Grossman of Evergreen State College and followed by Kyle Whyte at about the 1.25 hour mark.
With Michael Quinn Patton, Utilization-Focused Evaluation and Glenn G. Page, SustainaMetrix.
The Blue Marble refers to the view of Earth from space with no human-imposed boundaries. Blue Marble Evaluation watches for and interprets the implications of change efforts that are interconnected in the global system. Global Systems Change Evaluation includes attention to and analysis of the interconnection of top-down globalization processes and bottom-up processes that incorporate local knowledge and indigenous wisdom.
Global challenges like climate change, global economic interdependence, and the global food system operate beyond national borders. Global systems change initiatives are intervening from the perspective of a complex, dynamic, and interconnected world system. Blue Marble evaluation is needed to assess the effectiveness of global systems change initiatives.
This webinar will provide an overview of Blue Marble Evaluation principles and an in-depth example based on the Gulf of Maine.
This webinar is complete. Recording currently unavailable. Please check back soon.
The webinar is supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Photo credit: Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment.
With Michael Quinn Patton, Utilization-Focused Evaluation and Glenn G. Page, SustainaMetrix
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December 24 was the 50th anniversary of the first photo of Earthrise from the moon. Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1968. That evening, the astronauts -- Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders -- held a live broadcast from lunar orbit, in which they showed pictures of the Earth and moon as seen from their spacecraft. One of those photos showed Earthrise for the first time.
We used this celebratory occasion to introduce and explain Blue Marble Evaluation, an approach and framework for evaluating global systems change initiatives. Global challenges like climate change, global economic interdependence, and the global food system operate beyond national borders. Global systems change initiatives are intervening from the perspective of a complex, dynamic, and interconnected world system. Blue Marble evaluation is needed to assess the effectiveness of global systems change initiatives.
The webinar was supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota.