Conference: Systemic Approaches in Evaluation

Date: January 25th/ 26th 2011
Venue: Eschborn, Germany

Call for Papers & Save the Date

Development programs promote complex reforms and change processes. Today, such processes are characterized more than ever by insecurity and unpredictability, posing a big challenge to the evaluation of development projects. In order to understand which projects work, why and under which conditions, evaluations need to embrace the interaction of various influencing factors and the multi-dimensionality of societal change. However, present evaluation approaches often premise predictability and linearity of event chains. They reflect the natural human need for security but are often not suitable to comprehend complex situations.

In order to fill this gap systemic approaches in evaluation of development programs are increasingly being discussed. A key concept is interdependency instead of linear cause-effect-relations. Systemic evaluations look at interrelations instead of analyzing isolated facts and figures. They focus on the interaction between various stakeholders with different motivations, interests, perceptions, and perspectives.

On January 25th and 26th, the Evaluation Unit of GTZ offers a forum to discuss systemic approaches to evaluation on an international conference with participants from politics, science and practice. On the basis of presentations, discussion rounds and case studies we will tackle, amongst others, the following questions:

·         What characterizes a “systemic evaluation“?
·         What is new about systemic evaluations, what makes them different from other (e.g.  participatory) approaches?
·         For which kind of evaluations are systemic approaches (not) useful?
·         Which concrete methods and tools from systemic consulting can be used?
·         Which quality standards do systemic evaluations have to meet?
·         Which specific methods and tools from systemic consultation practice can be used in systemic evaluation?

We welcome contributions on good practice examples and/or systemic tools for evaluation. Please submit your proposals (1000 words maximum) in English by October 31st to Sabine Dinges (

We look forward to receiving your abstracts. Further information on the registration process will soon be provided.

Martina Vahlhaus, Head of Evaluation Unit ,
Michael Gajo ,  Senior Evaluation Officer
gtz German Technical Cooperation
P.O. 5180
65726 Eschborn

6 thoughts on “Conference: Systemic Approaches in Evaluation”

  1. Hi,

    I am writing my master´s tesis and I am so interesting in learning about systemic approaches in evaluation. ¿Could you send me literature about that?

  2. We an NGO sustain Africa Uganda, We are interested to attend this conference. We would like to send one of us . please advise us because we have the proposal already.

  3. Please contact the conference organisers directly, using their email address as provided above

  4. I think this is the ideal time to discuss this topic because sector is learning from experience to effectively utilise the evaluation studies for quality programming and greater impact.

    I am really excited to look forward to conference for detailed discussion on the topic.



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