Dealing with complexity through Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation

Mid-term results of a collective action research process.
Authors: Jan Van Ongevalle, Anneke Maarse, Cristien Temmink, Eugenia Boutylkova and Huib Huyse. Published January 2012
Praxis Paper 26, available as pdf

(Text from INTRAC website) “Written by staff from PSO and HIVA, this paper shares the first results of an ongoing collaborative action research in which ten development organisations explored different Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) approaches with the aim of dealing more effectively with complex processes of social change.

This paper may be of interest as:
1) It illustrates a practical example of action research whereby the organisations themselves are becoming the researchers.
2) Unpacking the main characteristics of complexity, the paper uses an analytic framework of four questions to assess the effectiveness of a PME approach in dealing with complex social change.
3) An overview is given of how various organisations implemented different PME approaches (e.g. outcome mapping, most significant change, client satisfaction instruments) in order to deal with complex change.
4) The paper outlines the meaning and the importance of a balanced PME approach, including its agenda, its underlying principles and values, its methods and tools and the way it is implemented in a particular context.”

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