Evaluation as intervention in food systems transformation: Global Alliance welcomes the launch of Blue Marble Evaluation
The Global Alliance for the Future of Food, a strategic alliance of philanthropic foundations working together to transform global food systems now and for future generations, welcomes the launch of Michael Quinn Patton’s new book: Blue Marble Evaluation: Premises and Principles, today. Featuring the Global Alliance as one of the world’s first adopters of this landmark new method of developing and evaluating systems change initiatives, it has profound implications for any organization or network working to create a more sustainable, equitable future in the midst of the climate emergency.
At the leading, innovative edge of evaluation during the Anthropocene, Blue Marble Evaluation encourages users to embrace and act on a “whole-Earth” perspective, looking beyond nation-state lines and across sector and issue silos to connect the global and local, the human and ecological, the macro and the micro, through evaluative thinking and methods.
Ruth Richardson, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, said: “Ensuring the sustainability, security, and equity of our food system is one of the most defining issues of our time. Transformational change is essential and Blue Marble Evaluation has played a fundamental role in helping us navigate our way through the complexity involved. It enables us to create deep and meaningful interconnections, to avoid the trap of limited silver bullet solutions that bring about unintended consequences and, ultimately, to disrupt the status quo that jeopardizes the future of food.”
Michael Quinn Patton, author and former president of the American Evaluation Association, said: “If we refuse to face the reality that the grand challenges of our time are unconstrained by national borders, sector domains and even imaginations, then we doom well-meaning, systems change interventions to failure. As a transdisciplinary profession, evaluation has much to offer to global change interventions and there’s never been a more important time to reframe how we view – and use – it. The Global Alliance is a shining example of how evaluation helps to develop new opportunities and innovative solutions that go beyond project implementation and have a systemic impact.”
In the book, Patton demonstrates how four overarching principles and 12 operating principles of this innovative new approach allow evaluators, planners, and implementers to hone in on the sustainability and equity issues in an intervention. Supported by compelling case examples, including the Global Alliance, plus bulleted lists, charts, and 80 original exhibits and graphics, he effectively connects the global and local, the human and ecological, and ushers in a new mode of evaluation for the times we live in. The book is available to order here.