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  1. From monitoring goals to systems-informed evaluation: insights from SDG14

    Resource
    Discussion paper
    2019

    This briefing paper from IIED argues that, if the world is going to make significant progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, development actors will need to think and work in new ways, including in evaluation and that complex systems-informed approaches can make a major contribution.With reference to SDG14 (life below water), this briefing offers two examples: (i) exploring interactions between SDG targets, and (ii) shifting attention from projects and programmes to systems. Such approaches can help all development actors — including monitoring, evaluation and learning specialists — to create boundary-spanning development and evaluation plans, identify leverage points, priorities and trade-offs, and reveal new ways to accelerate progress.

  2. What is a complex system and how is it different?

    Resource
    Overview
    2014

    This video presentation from Chris Wood, Michael Quinn Patton and Ben Ramalingam for USAID looks at complex systems and how they are different from the norm. The presentation begins by focusing on concepts and methods for exploring complex and adaptive systems and then moves on to the niche and implications of complexity and then finishes with a discussion of complexity and foreign aid.

  3. How do these conceptions of complexity help us think and act?

    Resource
    2011

    This is Part 2 of a three part series of video lectures conducted by USAID on complexity. This lecture features Aaron Clauset, Rob Ricigliano and Alexa Courtney who focus on the question 'How do these conceptions of complexity help us think and act?' The lecture begins by looking at predictability and unpredictability in terrorism and civil wars then moves on to a range of tools that can be used for grappling with complexity.

  4. What are the implications/opportunities for development practice?

    Resource
    Overview
    2014

    This is Part 3 of a three part series of video lectures conducted by USAID on complexity. This lecture features Richard Tyson who focuses on the implications and opportunities for development practice that complexity poses with a specific look at designing for the complex development. 

  5. Dealing With Complexity in Development Evaluation- A Practical Approach

    Resource
    Guide
    2015

    This book offers practical guidance to policymakers, managers, and evaluation practitioners on how to design and implement complexity-responsive evaluations that can be undertaken in the real world of time, budget, data, and political constraints.

  6. Evaluating Performance in a CAS

    Resource
    1999

    This article, authored by Glenda Eoyang and Thomas Berkas for the Human Systems Dynamics Institute, describes key features of a complex adaptive system and what these might mean for evaluation and the role of an evaluator.

  7. Complexity evaluation framework: Recognising complexity & key considerations for complexity-appropriate evaluation in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

    Resource
    Example
    2020

    Defra (the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) commissioned CECAN (the Centre for Evaluation Complexity Across the Nexus) to deliver a Complexity Evaluation Framework (CEF). The primary purpose of this framework is to equip Defra commissioners of evaluation (which may include analysts and policy makers), with a checklist of core considerations to ensure that evaluations are robust and sufficiently consider the implications of complexity theory. The framework is intended to increase the use and usability of evaluation for both commissioned and internally-led evaluation across the department. The final output is intended to be an actionable complexity evaluation framework, accompanied by a supporting evidence report to be used as a resource in commissioning evaluation.

  8. Applying resilience thinking: Seven principles for building resilience in social-ecological systems

    Resource
    Guide
    2014

    This guide from the Stockholm Resilience Centre outlines seven key principles that can be used to develop resilience in social-ecological systems. Each principle comes with guidance on how to implement it and also provides a case study to demonstrate how it has been done. 

  9. How to Evaluate equity-focused and gender-responsive interventions in complex and dynamic environments

    Resource
    Guide
    2014

    These reading materials from a webinar presented by Michael Quinn Patton for My M&E, discusses the concept of complexity and details how to conduct an evaluation in a complex and dynamic environment.

  10. Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods Integrating Theory and Practice (Fourth Edition)

    Resource
    Guide
    2014

    The fourth edition of Michael Quinn Patton's Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods Integrating Theory and Practice, published by Sage Publications, analyses and provides clear guidance and advice for using a range of different qualitative methods for evaluation. Using a range of clear examples and case studies the book comprehensively outlines a wide variety of qualitative research and evaluation methods, inquiry frameworks, and analysis options that are available today.

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