Thomas DelahaisKarine SageVincent Honoré

Evaluators in Transition

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART104221
.doi: https://doi.org/10.31244/zfe.2020.02.03

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Abstract

As the climate emergency is looming, many local authorities worldwide have engaged in Transition Initiatives, with an aim to find a new sustainable model of development. Such Initiatives are rarely evaluated and, actually, they defy standard evaluation practice. Using Contribution Analysis, we evaluated three of them in Northern France in the last seven years. Doing so proved a methodological challenge, if only because these Initiatives cannot be summed up as a programme of action engaged by an authority, but rather as a local dynamic fuelled by deeply ingrained political convictions. We provide here lessons about how to make the Initiatives evaluable, through the delineation of an evaluand and Theory of Change collaborative reconstruction. But what started with method ended up as a reflection on values. “What is good” and how can Transition Initiatives contribute to it? And how does it interrogate our own norms and values as evaluators?

Keywords
Transition, Contribution Analysis, Theory of Change, Values