A transformative evaluator must understand the nature of impact evaluation very well. The fundamentals of impact evaluation should be applied to transformational development programs when assessment of evaluation feasibility justifies the cost.
The transformative evaluator must also understand technical and ethical limitations of impact evaluation applied to TD programs. Go to page 8 in Evaluating Transformational Development Outcomes for some thoughts about this.
Future posts will examine impact evaluation in more detail along with possible alternative approaches that may be more illuminating. Your comments about points to explore are welcome.
Meditate on Luke 18:31-34
Jesus steadfastly set his face toward Jerusalem, for the journey to Jerusalem was God’s purpose for his life. “The great thing to remember is that we go to Jerusalem to fulfill God’s purpose, not our own… in the Christian life we have no aim of our own (Chambers).”
Transformational development program stakeholders have a general purpose: to enable individual and social transformation by achieving the program goals. A key objective of transformative evaluation is to assist program stakeholders to understand at a deeper level what really matters in development. As an evaluator I will examine evidence related to accomplishment of program goals. But as a transformative evaluator I will work with stakeholders to facilitate humble exploration of their expectations in the light of God’s word.
Meditate on Isaiah 56:1-8
“Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed (56:1, NIV).” Salvation from evil is the purpose of God’s reconciling of the world. We are created to do good works, but we cannot do them as God intends until we surrender our will to God (see Ephesians 2:8-10). God desires our surrender and is actively inviting us to be part of individual and social transformation.
The prophet announces clearly that the foreigners and eunuchs that bind themselves to God will also be saved. This scope for reconciliation was beyond Israel’s understanding. God’s reconciling includes all peoples.
The evaluation application is that indicators for divisiveness and inclusiveness in the community need to be considered when planning transformative evaluation.