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September 2021 Newsletter

Equinox Edition

Welcome Back! As we begin to see signs of fall in the northern hemisphere and prepare to welcome spring in the south, we are happy to be back in action! It’s been a few months since we sent out a newsletter, but we are making up for it with an email chock full of goodies. Here are a few highlights:

  • Food Systems Summit: read about the BME team’s work on the UN Food Systems Summit, which will take place in New York this week.
  • Upcoming Events, including Evaluator’s Institute Workshops, a CREA Symposium, BME webinar, CECAN webinar & Eval4Action’s Walk the Talk video drive.
  • Featured Resources: the new report from Social Impact on 10 Years of USAID Developmental Evaluation, a recording of this month’s webinar on Evaluation in the SDGs Era and more.
  • BME Network News: an update from the Transformation Systems Mapping & Analysis Working Group and on our members.

Food Systems Summit

A Clarion Call for Food Systems Transformation

As part of preparation and building momentum for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit more than 900 Independent Dialogues have taken place around the world. Our Blue Marble Evaluation team coded the Dialogue reports to capture, incorporate, and communicate outcomes from each of the Dialogues. Click here to read more about the process and outcomes of this synthesis.

Deep Dive Synthesis Reports

During the process of analyzing the Independent Dialogues, the BME synthesis team and the Food Systems Summit Secretariat identified a need for a deeper dive into the perspectives of several key stakeholder groups: Indigenous Peoples, smallholder farmers and other small-scale producers, youth, and women. Those deep-dive reports are now available on our website.

United Nations Food Systems Pre-Summit

Michael Quinn Patton delivers a synthesis presentation at the United Nations Food Systems Pre-Summit on 28 July 2021. Watch the full address here.

Upcoming Opportunities for Learning & Engagement

October 1, 2021
In this webinar, Josep M. Coll will present ideas from his new book Buddhist and Taoist Systems Thinking: the natural path to sustainable transformation (Routledge) and explore the intersections between Blue Marble Evaluation and Buddhist and Taoist Systems Thinking as enablers of systems transformation.

September 28-29
Developmental Evaluation is foundational to Blue Marble Evaluation. If you are looking to deepen your practice of BME and have yet to attend a training on DE, we recommend you check out this course.

September 29th @ 2:15pm CDT
Join BME at CREA for a symposium chaired by A. Rafael Johnson: Towards a Theory of Transformation for Complex Systems, featuring a case study of GHR Foundation’s BridgeBuilder™ Challenge and an exploration of the interplay between Blue Marble Evaluation and Culturally-Responsive Evaluation.

CECAN Webinar:
The Practice of Blue Marble Evaluation

Michael Quinn Patton & Glenn G. Page
5 Oct 2021, 4pm BST

Join Michael and Glenn for an overview of Blue Marble Evaluation and a glimpse into how they have been applying Blue Marble principles to their projects with the UN Food Systems Summit and bioregional sustainability work with COBALT (Collaborative for Bioregional Action Learning & Transformation).

#Eval4Action Walk the Talk
From promises to action for influential evaluation

As a partner of the #Eval4Action campaign, we invite you to join the campaign’s latest advocacy initiative: the #Eval4Action Walk the Talk video drive, taking place on Twitter  from 1 to 31 October 2021. You can learn more about the campaign by searching ‘#Eval4Action’ on Twitter.

Featured Resources

10 Years of Developmental Evaluation
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 about how DE has been gaining speed in the international development arena, check out Social Impact (SI) and its USAID/Indonesia DE Jalin’s new study 10 Years of USAID Developmental Evaluation. Click here to read about the report.

Evaluation in the SDGs Era: Adapting “Developmental Evaluation” in the Japanese Context
The book “Evaluation in the SDGs era: A dynamics for value extraction and social/individual transformation” (tentative title; written in Japanese) is going to be published from Tsukuba-Shobo in December 2021. Prior to publication, this webinar explored evaluation in the SDGs era with Dr. Michael Patton, who contributed a chapter with a full of message for Japanese readers.

Evaluation and the Challenge of Our Time
Presentation by Scott Chaplowe
This presentation  was part of a panel with several other BME members and focused on the role of evaluation and evaluators in the face of the climate crisis.

Developmental Evaluation Companion
Written by Kate McKegg, Mark Cabaj and Jamie Gamble
This resource provides an overview of the essential elements of Developmental Evaluation (DE) to support changemakers, evaluators and anyone interested in applying DE to their work. Supported by the McConnell Foundation, the authors have also created a resource library and community of practice for DE. Learn more.

BME Network News

Transformation Systems Mapping & Analysis Working Group

Building on the place-based work that was originated in the Transformations Systems Mapping & Analysis Working Group – the COBALT Network (Collaborative for Bioregional Action Learning and Transformation) led by Glenn Page recently added two key partners including the team working on the Sacred Headwaters of the Amazon and Regenerative Costa Rica. Both visionary initiatives are working with COBALT on the co-creation of a Blue Marble Baseline and we’ll provide updates as to the progress of both through the Blue Marble Evaluation newsletter!

Our membership continues to grow! Here are the latest stats: 
Current Members: 647
Countries represented: 85
Languages spoken: 71

Visit our network page to view the profiles of our newest members. We are working to enhance the search function so members can find and communicate with one another more easily.

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