As a follow up to a workshop on evaluation in development, held at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) in March 2014, the research institute published a special issue bulletin which focusses on the main findings of this event. As IDS states in their announcement, the workshop “aimed to sketch out a research and practice agenda to meet increasing demands for evidence about successful programs and projects.”
This article discusses environmental evaluation in the context of national development in developing countries. It makes a case for evaluation to move beyond evaluating individual interventions to assessing the contributions to sustainable development at the national and international levels. It highlights challenges relating to evaluating environment in national development, as well as aggregation and attribution of results from programmes aimed for demonstration and policy influence. The discussion is focused around two concrete cases involving programmes by UNDP and the Global Environment Facility.
More than twenty years after the Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, both national and international actors in governmental and nongovernmental fields are still searching for insights into how sustainable development can be advanced and environmental concerns incorporated into the development agenda more effectively. Moreover, climate change has emerged as a preeminent challenge to both the environment and to development. Evaluating Environment in International Development provides international perspectives and in-depth knowledge of evaluating development and the environment and applies evaluation knowledge to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Rob D. van den Berg and Christine Woerlen presented the work of the GEF Evaluation Office and Climate-Eval on learning from the evaluation by paying attention to negative evidence and understanding why a specific intervention or policy does not work. Traditional evaluations often cannot clearly identify why something does not work.
Saving the world’s plant species has been a concern ever since botanical gardens were introduced. Agricultural biodiversity is a special concern within this broader objective of conservation. Research should focus on how farmers can incorporate biodiversity into farming practices, ensuring food security and social and economic development at the same time. International projects have shown how this can be done and what the focus needs to be.
Climate change threatens to undermine decades of development achievements in China’s Huang-Huai-Hai River Basin. Farmers in the 3H Basin have long been plagued by water scarcity and frequent droughts and floods.Development efforts have succeeded in relieving some of these pressures, but the effects of climate change put these achievements in jeopardy.
The focus in the discourse about global and national economies has for the past few decades been on how to strengthen and extend the role of markets, so let us go back to some fundamental principles and re-establish these issues. Public goods are defined in economic terms as "non-rival" and "non-excludable". In other words: these are goods that are almost impossible to trade.
This paper addresses the nature and magnitude of the global environmental challenge and the response of the international organizations responsible for environmental issues to that challenge. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the current global environmental policy and aid architecture by drawing upon evidence from independent evaluations of international organizations concerned with the global environment.
International discussion on effectiveness of aid emphasizes results. The Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) promise results in 2015. Many bilateral and multilateral donors are moving in the direction of management for results or by results, or have done so in the past few years. One element that contributed to this shift was the general feeling that aid had not sufficiently demonstrated its results. In many public debates on aid - for example, in Netherlands - this feeling was particularly strong in terms of demonstrating impact. Any reference to short-term results or results at the level of activites is pushed aside, because critics argue that there is no impact at the level of societal or state development. In these debates, evaluations are mentioned only rarely.