New Directions for Evaluation vol:2009 issue:122 pages:31-39
Social scientists, natural scientists, and evaluators have not properly defined the concept of scale for environmental problems. Environmental scale generally differs from social scale, which confounds the challenge of evaluating policies and governance arrangements in addressing environmental issues. Instead, social scales are generally based on traditional jurisdictional boundaries, and this complicates effective decision making. Conversely, evaluators must be able to assess innovative governance arrangements as well as the outcomes of environmental problems because the two are interconnected. This is particularly true in looking at cross-scale, social-ecological interactions. This has profound implications for policy evaluation; evaluators have to develop frameworks for connecting across various scales and levels in overcoming mismatches. Natural scientists probably need to be humbler in their ambitions, and evaluators will have to engage in interdisciplinary teams that blend the expertise of the social sciences with that from the natural sciences to assess outcomes to social and environmental scales.