Evaluating Outside the Box: Evaluation’s Transformational Potential

Authors

  • Scott Chaplowe Evaluation and Strategy Specialist, International Evaluation Academy (IEA), Transformational Evaluation Working Group Coordinator, www.scottchaplowe.com
  • Adam Hejnowicz Research Associate, School of Engineering, Newcastle University; Visiting Research Associate, Department of Biology, University of York

Keywords:

evaluation, transformational change, project fixation, quantitative fixation, accountability fixation

Abstract

The call for transformation is a response to the dire global emergency; it is a call for radical innovation at multiple levels if humanity is to survive into the next Century. How can evaluation, a profession in the business of assessment and advising, inform and hasten transformation? As a field that straddles both theory and practice, evaluation is uniquely positioned to support transformational learning and change, but this potential depends on its ability to transform from within. This article identifies four interrelated “boxes” that confine evaluation’s transformational potential: a project fixation, a short-term temporal fixation, a quantitative fixation, and an accountability fixation. It also examines the uptake and influence of complex systems analysis in the field of evaluation as a means to “breakout” of these boxes and nudge evaluation towards the inner transformation required for it to contribute to transformational change.

Author Biographies

Scott Chaplowe, Evaluation and Strategy Specialist, International Evaluation Academy (IEA), Transformational Evaluation Working Group Coordinator, www.scottchaplowe.com

Scott Chaplowe is an evaluation and strategy specialist with over 22 years’ experience working with civic, public, and private organizations promoting socially and environmentally responsible solutions for sustainable development. His background in Geography, with a focus in cultural and political ecology, informs his specialization in complex systems analysis and adaptive design and evaluation. Email: Scott@ScottChaplowe.com

Adam Hejnowicz , Research Associate, School of Engineering, Newcastle University; Visiting Research Associate, Department of Biology, University of York

Adam Hejnowicz, PhD,  is a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Engineering at Newcastle University and a visiting research associate in the Biology Department at the University of York. He works with the York Environmental Sustainability Institute (YESI) and is a member of the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN). Email: adam.hejnowicz@newcastle.ac.uk

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Published

2021-03-04

How to Cite

Chaplowe, S., & Hejnowicz , A. (2021). Evaluating Outside the Box: Evaluation’s Transformational Potential . Social Innovations Journal, 5. Retrieved from https://socialinnovationsjournal.com/index.php/sij/article/view/704

Issue

Section

Social Innovation and Entreprenership