Given the numerous interconnected environmental crises the world faces, there is an urgent need to include consideration of environmental impacts into all evaluations. Footprint evaluation focuses on evaluating the ‘footprint’ that human systems make on natural systems. Importantly, it includes evaluating the potential and actual environmental impacts of interventions that do not have explicit environmental objectives.
Footprint evaluation focuses on the ‘footprint’ that human systems make on natural systems. This requires attention to the nexus between human systems and natural systems. Footprint evaluation is grounded in the premise that all evaluations should include consideration of environmental sustainability, even when this is not a stated goal of the intervention. This is so that decision-making can take into account the potential and actual impacts of planned interventions (projects, programs, policies) on the environment.
International Program for Development Evaluation Training 2016: Building Skills to Evaluate Development Interventions
This paper from the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) aims to document the evolution in thinking about how to measure sustainability and also distills crucial lessons for moving forward. The paper specifically looks at major initiatives in theory and practice over the last 20 years; outlines a generic framework for implementing and assessing sustainability; and looks at how different sectors have approached the issue of sustainability.
This report from the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Measuring Sustainability provides detailed guidance for decision makers on measuring for effective sustainability. The report provides a summary of the full report and aims to provide a framework and guide for those engaging with sustainability literature and the development and application of sustainability assessment tools.
This guide from the Stockholm Resilience Centre outlines seven key principles that can be used to develop resilience in social-ecological systems. Each principle comes with guidance on how to implement it and also provides a case study to demonstrate how it has been done.