Over the past 3-4 decades, North-South cooperation in the ‘aid’ or philanthropy sectors has been an important focus for evaluation; much less so South-South, North-North or triangular cooperation. Despite some recent shifts, significant differences remain between the ‘Global South’ and ‘Global North’. Yet these distinct parts of the world are interconnected, with interdependent development trajectories of their communities, societies, countries and regions. This presents Blue Marble evaluators – and all those who work across such societies and their ecosystems – with important challenges that are surprisingly difficult yet crucial to address. Evaluation specialists tend to pay only superficial attention to the assumptions and biases inherent in the different worldviews and experiences on which we base the frameworks and models against which we evaluate. Dominant narratives – usually from the North - influence our mindsets so that we do not see the potential in less conventional approaches to ‘development’ and ‘transformation’. Fortunately, we live in an era where success stories from the South based on novel ways of working, including using complexity concepts, are growing in number. This provides the field of evaluation with new opportunities to be relevant and useful.
This webinar will highlight, with examples, three major issues related to North-South and South-South dynamics, and consider what these mean for the mindsets and competencies with which we commission and do evaluation. Several Blue Marble Evaluation principles will inform the discussion.
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