Did you know that while USAID conducted just two developmental evaluations (DEs) between 2010 and
2015, it conducted 12 between 2016 and 2020? To find out more, check out Social Impact (SI) and its
USAID/Indonesia DE Jalin’s new study 10 Years of USAID Developmental Evaluation.
This comes 10 years after Dr. Patton published his landmark book Developmental Evaluation and shows
that DE has come a long way since with one of the world’s premier international development agencies.
The study elaborates further on trends in USAID DE duration, budget, and structure, and raises
awareness of USAID’s journey of adopting and applying this new evaluation approach.
SI, a leader in implementing DE globally, and its USAID/Indonesia DE Jalin team partnered with Blue
Marble Evaluation to launch their Remote DE Guide earlier this year. The guide captures lessons learned
from implementing DEs remotely during COVID-19. During a webinar for the guide, participants were
asked what they wanted to learn about DE and 71% of requested a “comprehensive list or study of all
DEs ever implemented.” While we still don’t have a full guide – this index for USAID is the start!
10 Years of USAID Developmental Evaluation features insights from Blue Marble’s own Charmagne
Campbell Patton, USAID DE evaluators, managers, implementers, and stakeholders and hopes to bring
together like-minded groups working with DE to grow the technical evidence base globally.
As a transdisciplinary profession, evaluation has much to offer to global change interventions that work toward a sustainable future across national boundaries, sectors, and issues. This book introduces Blue Marble evaluation, which provides a framework for developing, adapting, and evaluating major systems change initiatives involving complex networks of stakeholders. Michael Quinn Patton demonstrates how the four overarching principles and 12 operating principles of this innovative approach allow evaluators, planners, and implementers to home in on sustainability and equity issues in an intervention. Compelling case examples, bulleted review lists, charts, and 80 original exhibits and graphics connect the global and local, the human and ecological. Rooted in utilization-focused, developmental, and principles-focused evaluation, Blue Marble evaluation is designed to tackle problems outside the reach of traditional evaluation practice.
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
A Developmental Evaluation Companion introduces the concept to changemakers, and to the evaluators, critical friends and reality testers, who are their partners in that change journey. The book provides an overview of the essential elements of Developmental Evaluation (DE) to create some coherence, not to present any one version of DE as the right one. There is an ever-expanding set of views, resources and even critiques on DE, which signals to us that the field is very much alive. The intent of this companion is to encourage going deeper and wrestling with the many issues and ideas presented.
This book is very much aligned with Blue Marble evaluation and is an excellent resources for Blue Marble Evaluators wishing to deepen their understanding and/or practice of DE.
This webinar explores the essential principles of developmental evaluation (DE) and how funders adapt them to in a variety of scenarios and contexts. As DE gains traction, people are implementing them in different ways and taking full advantage of DE’s commitment to flexibility. But how much flexibility it too much? What is fundamental? Speakers from three unique DEs will discuss their experiences, which varied significantly while successfully fulfilling core DE purposes. The session will also share resources for those interested in DE implementation.
Developmental Evaluation (DE) seeks to enhance programs by strengthening innovation and adaptation, in part through physically embedding evaluators within projects. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a shift to remote work, encouraging DE implementers to do what they do best — innovate and adapt — to continue remotely. In response, USAID/Indonesia commissioned Social Impact to prepare a Guide capturing broadly applicable learnings and methods for successfully implementing Remote DEs. The Guide (available here) is based on conversations with six DEs at USAID, the UN, and Gates Foundation across four continents and with the USAID Global Development Lab’s Developmental Evaluation Pilot Activity (DEPA-MERL).
Please click here to watch a recording of the roundtable discussion with representatives from the six developmental evaluations that contributed to this effort.
What are we learning in this pandemic? We are seeing that individuals matter: individual actions have reverberating consequences. We are also seeing that systems matter: how systems act to address the pandemic and protect peoples have dire consequences for the individuals that live in society and for the rest of us around the blue marble. Various levels of governments are by far the largest stakeholders in transformative engagements as systems where the public service, GUIDEd by principles of democracy, respect for peoples, integrity, and stewardship are entrusted to serve the people and navigate us through the pandemic.
How do we, as Blue Marble evaluators, tackle complexity that continues to morph? This webinar is for evaluators both internal and external working directly or indirectly for or with the social innovators in the public/not-for-profit sector who find themselves dealing with problems, trying out strategies, and striving to be where we want to be that emerge from our engagement with the transformation process.
We invite you to participate from where you are and engage in a hands-on synchronous experiential learning as collaborative BME learners to learn how to zoom in and out to provide timely, meaningful, relevant, credible, and actionable information as BM evaluators in support of systems transformation so that BME is part of the solution, utilizing principles-focused developmental evaluation as an intervention that inform innovative and adaptive development in complex realities of our Anthropocene.
Please click here to watch a recording.