How Governance, Evaluation and Worldviews Constrain Connectivity: Causes and Implications

2013 EENP Forum

Day 3: Sept 24, 2013 • 10:45am • Ballard Hall Large Conference Room

By Andy Rowe

Ecology and EBM both emphasise connectivity, as do other natural resource management tendencies and it is becoming a hot topic for evaluation.  However human interventions to protect, restore or exploit the natural system all operate from highly partitioned settings that systematically separate cause and effect and human and natural systems leading to fragmented program and policy agenda.  Partitioned governance structures and the worldviews of those shaping the intervention and evaluation are important contributors to this, systematically limiting the reach and accountability of the intervention; and evaluation tends to go along with this.  Evaluation should shine its light on the potential for improvement, not just tinker with the status quo.  This means evaluation needs to connect the intervention to the natural and human system goals, and incorporate these connections into the evaluation; evaluation that stays within the box containing the intervention is unlikely to do this.  Successful resolution of this tension is found through evaluation processes, not technique or method.

Andy Rowe has thirty years experience as an economist and evaluation consultant in North America, Europe, South Asia, the Western Pacific and the Caribbean. He now works primarily in the resource and environmental sector in the US, on evaluation of conflict resolution in the US and Canada and development assignments in India and the Western Pacific. He has a PhD from the London School of Economics and is a former President of the Canadian Evaluation Society. His current evaluation clients include the Packard Foundation Conservation and Science program, the US Department of Interior, the EPA, the World Bank, Alberta Department of Municipal Affairs, and the UK Department of International Development.


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