This paper provides guidance on Environmental Approach for Generational Impact – a proposed approach to designing and evaluating programmes in a way that includes consideration of environment and biodiversity issues.
This resource and the following information was contributed by Patricia Rogers.
Authors and their affiliation
Lamia Renaud, Integrity Global
This paper provides guidance on Environmental Approach for Generational Impact – a proposed approach to designing and evaluating programmes in a way that includes consideration of environment and biodiversity issues. While it draws on numerous experiences designing, delivering, and implementing international development programmes, the proposed approach is yet to be implemented in this form in an evaluation or programme design. The paper includes a worked example of what the approach might look like in practice.
The paper sets out a 3-step approach to design and evaluation in terms of:
1. Understand the problem and the system in which it exists
Identify problems, potential causes and consequences (considering natural and human systems), select problems that can be addressed potential change agendas during the life of a project/program and also with a generational lens
2. Outline the roadmap for transformative change to be realized
a. Assess what falls under the programme’s scope of control and influence
b. Imagine the future state
Describe what a problem and its solution - the change area and its resulting behaviour, practice or situation – might look like in a minimum of 50 years. Refine potential pathways to address the problems, that respond to the generational ambition, defining what behaviour change is needed within and between the human and natural systems to realize these objectives.
3. Support the design of interventions and or theory-based evaluations
Design interventions or theory-based evaluation scopes, including the long-term vision in both of these.
The approach draws on behaviour change, political economy analysis, and systems thinking theories, especially the Actor-Based Change Framework (Koleros et al., 2018) and the COM-B Framework (Michie et al., 2011).
The paper also sets out compelling arguments for why all program design and evaluation should include consideration of environmental sustainability and intergenerational impacts.
How have you used or intend on using this resource?
I found this paper particularly useful in providing a structured way to expand the boundaries of what is being evaluated in terms of including natural systems and intergenerational effects. I want to draw on it to think through how to bring in the actor-based system map to ways of using theories of change to design interventions and evaluations.
Why would you recommend it to other people?
There is increasing interest in including consideration of environmental sustainability in program design and evaluation but little available guidance on how to do this. This paper sets out some ways to do this that are accessible and practical. While the approach has not been formally tested, it draws on frameworks and methods that have been previously developed and used. It also provides some useful discussions about sustainability and links to other useful resources.
Renaud, L. (2022). Environmental approach for generational impact. Working Paper. Available at: https://www.betterevaluation.org/tools-resources/environmental-approach-for-generational-impact
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