Blue Marble Evaluation Operating Principle 6: Bricolage Methods Principle

Bricolage Methods Principle: Conduct utilization-focused evaluations incorporating Blue Marble principles to match methods to the evaluation situation.

Premise: The variety of possible Blue marble evaluation situations is so vast that no predetermined set will be adequate. There can be no Blue Marble methods toolbox, a popular metaphor for evaluators offering a limited and definitive set of “tools.” Context matters in designing evaluations. Intended purposes and uses matter, as does identifying and working with primary intended users. Standardization is anathema; customization and contextualization rule.


  • Blue Marble bricoleur teams will likely be needed to access a variety of possible methods, measures, analytical approaches, and methodological specializations.

  • Newer technologies like Big Data, GIS, remote sensing, artificial intelligence (AI), social systems network mapping techniques, and blockchain innovations will likely have Blue Marble evaluation applications.

  • Blue Marble evaluation designs may be emergent and adaptive given the diversity of worldwide situations and applications and the dynamic nature of the global environment.

  • Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods will likely be needed to do justice to the complexity and multi-dimensional nature of Blue Marble evaluations.

  • The GLOCAL principle means that Blue Marble analysis will include national data disaggregated within countries and global data aggregated and synthesized across countries.

  • The time is of the essence principle guides evaluation bricoleurs toward longitudinal designs that can capture and assess trajectories toward sustainability and transformation over time.

  • Blue Marble evaluations must be utilization-focused.

Photo credit Ellen Harasimowicz