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.”

Seminar: Complexity-oriented Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME): from alternative to mainstream?

Date: Wednesday 10 November 2010, 13.30-17.00 pm,
Venue: Theatre Concordia, Hoge Zand 42, The Hague, The Netherlands

The HIVA Research Institute for Work and Society of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, PSO Capacity Building in Developing Countries, the Flemish Office for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB), and Vredeseilanden/VECO invite you to a seminar organised within the framework of the Development Policy Review Network (DPRN) to discuss how alternative PME approaches such as Outcome Mapping and Most Significant Change may complement the mainstream Logical Framework approach for complex development programmes. The aim is to come up with recommendations for PME policies, based on lessons learned from practical experience with various PME approaches in complex situations.

The seminar forms the closing part of the DPRN ‘Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in complex social situations’ process, in which the four organisations have worked on various studies about these PME approaches. They analysed the different PME approaches in detail and carried out various case studies of PME approaches which featured as learning histories for various organisations. In addition, the organisers reviewed current PME policy frameworks in Belgium and the Netherlands and organised a public online discussion about the use of Logical Framework versus Outcome Mapping. The insights of these four projects will be shared and discussed at the seminar. For more details see the attached invitation or contact Jan van Ongevalle of HIVA at ( More information on the process can be found on the website

You can register by sending an email to ( before 1 November, mentioning ‘DPRN seminar 10 November’

5-day Outcome Mapping Training and Workshop in Switzerland

Date:  26 – 30 October 2009
Venue:  Filzbach GL near Zurich, Switzerland

Agridea International is organising a training and workshop on Outcome Mapping in English language in Europe. Interested people working in development cooperation in southern and eastern countries as well as staff working in development and donor agencies in the North are invited to register. Besides an intensive introduction in OM as a tool for Project Cycle Management, the course has the objective to practise OM tools on the basis of own cases brought by the participants, and to combine OM tools with other M&E approaches.

For further information or registration contact Mr. Carsten Schulz

website :

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