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Transformational Change: The Challenge of a Brave New World

  • Jyotsna PuriEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Natural Resource Management in Transition book series (NRMT, volume 2)

Abstract

What is transformational change? Can we define it? Can we measure it? Will we know a transformational change when it occurs? In the book Soonish (Weinersmith and Weinersmith 2017), the authors discuss transformational technologies: Ideas such as asteroid mining and cable cars that run up into space require technologies whose times have not yet come, but represent important ways in which the world’s existing woes—including the problem of resource constraints—may be solved. Most multilateral development agencies aim for change that is ‘transformational’ or that ‘shifts the paradigm’. Arguably, transformational change has become the holy grail in development assistance. Most development and environmental aid agencies aspire to support transformational change, referring in turn, at least in spirit if not in letter, to something that will change the way our work is done or the way we think about the impact of our work (Levine and Savedoff 2015). Despite this, definitions of what constitutes transformational change remain elusive, resulting in the near absence of evidence related to transformational change. In this chapter we discuss some experiences of organisations that have aimed to define and measure transformational change. We then discuss whether or not these definitions are necessary and sufficient, and explore potential ways in which measurement may occur.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent Evaluation Unit (IEU), Green Climate FundIncheonRepublic of Korea

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