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Evaluating the Impacts of Global Environmental Assessments

Alcamo, Joseph. 2017. Evaluating the Impacts of Global Environmental Assessments. Environmental Science and Policy, 77:268–272.


There are currently no widely accepted procedures for comparing the performance of global environmental assessments (GEAs) and this may be a barrier to improving their methodology. To encourage greater self-reflection within the GEA community, it is proposed to introduce consistent evaluation approaches. Two elements from current evaluation practice are reviewed here that could be particularly useful for evaluating GEAs. The first are logic models which provide a transparent visual mapping of how activities in a GEA are intended to have impacts on policies. The second are performance metrics. It is proposed that GEAs adopt two kinds of metrics: (i) A common generic set for use in all GEAs to provide a basis for comparing the performance of GEAs, and (ii) a specific set of measureable metrics for each particular GEA derived from/linked to the generic set. Although many issues arise in applying these and other elements from evaluation theory and practice to GEAs, the potential benefits are greater comparability of GEA performance and new knowledge about how to improve them. This Short Communication is part of a Special Issue on solution-oriented GEAs.

The publication is available here.

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