American Evaluation Association (AEA) 2019

Minneapolis, MN, USA

The GEF Independent Evaluation Office participated in two panel sessions at the American Evaluation Association Conference:

(Session #1) Systems and complexity thinking in environmental evaluation for today's, and tomorrow's, "wicked" problems

Session Number: 2384
Time: Nov 15, 2019 (03:30 PM - 04:15 PM)
Discussant: Scott G Chaplowe [Director of Evidence, Measurement and Evaluation (Climate) - Children's Investment Fund Foundation]
Presenter 1: Geeta Batra [World Bank]; Presenter 2: Andy Rowe [ARCeconomics]; Presenter 3: Shishusri Pradhan [Evidence, Measurement, and Evaluation Manager (Climate) - Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)]; Presentation 3 Additional Author: Scott G Chaplowe [Director of Evidence, Measurement and Evaluation (Climate) - Children's Investment Fund Foundation].

Abstract Title: Evaluation for People and Planet: Lessons from the Global Environment Facility
Presentation Abstract: Evaluating in the context of sustainable development requires novel approaches and perspectives. Using examples from the comprehensive evaluation of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the premier public funding mechanism to dealing with environmental problems, such as loss of biodiversity and land resources, climate change and chemicals pollution, I demonstrate the importance of evaluating at the nexus of natural and human systems. This requires an open theory of change that can place an intervention in its broader context at an integrated landscape level. While the GEF is explicitly addressing global environmental challenges, it must tackle the drivers that mostly lie in the human factors. Evaluations must apply mixed methods and demonstrate an understanding of the complex targeted systems and phenomena based on scientific research.

(Session #2) The Future of Evaluating for Transformational (Systems) Change: Where are we? Where should we go?

Session Number: 2542
Time: Nov 15, 2019 (04:30 PM - 05:30 PM)
Discussant: Zenda Ofir [International Evaluation Specialist / Honorary Professor - Stellenbosch University]
Presenter 1: Geeta Batra, Deputy Director & Chief Evaluation Officer [Deputy Director & Chief Evaluation Officer]; Presenter 2: Jyotsna Puri [Columbia University]; Presenter 3: Glenn G. Page [SustainaMetrix]; Presenter 4: Pablo Vidueira [Global Systems Change (Blue Marble) Evaluator - Global Alliance for the Future of Food]

Abstract Title: Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Sustainable Transformations: Reflections from the Global Environment Facility
Presentation Abstract: What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for the achievement of sustainable transformations? The GEF IEO will present evidence from a recent evaluation wherein transformational interventions are defined as engagements that help achieve deep, systemic, and sustainable change with large-scale impact in an area of global environmental concern. By strategically selecting projects that address environmental challenges of global concern and are purposely designed to support fundamental changes in key economic systems, GEF interventions are more likely to cause a large-scale and sustainable impact, subject to the quality of execution and supportive contextual conditions. The evaluation assesses the factors and circumstances that have triggered and supported transformational changes, and establishes conditions which make a difference in specific contexts.

Image courtesy of AEA