Adaptive management refers to an approach to managing under conditions of ongoing uncertainty.
This page is a staging ground for ideas, experiences, advice and resources about using evaluation to support adaptive management. It includes a number of resources suggested by the BetterEvaluation community as well as outputs from BetterEvaluation. It is a work in progress, so please watch this space.
This blog series is structured around tasks in the BetterEvaluation Rainbow Framework, with Part 1 being focused on the MANAGE task. The remaining blogs in the series address the DEFINE, FRAME and DESCRIBE tasks.
- Strategy Testing: An Innovative Approach to Monitoring Highly Flexible Aid Programs
This paper by Debra Ladner describes a new monitoring system developed by The Asia Foundation under the DFAT-TAF Partnership called Strategy Testing, which was developed to track programs that are addressing complex development problems through a highly iterative, adaptive 'searching' approach. Suggested by both Michael Moses and Nicola Giordano.
- The Science in Adaptive Management
This paper by Matt Ripley and Sabine Jaccard ILO, explores adaptive management's history in natural resource management to learn how adaptive management has moved from paper to practice, extracting a set of 6 principles underpinning its real-world application. The authors reflect on these in relation to their experiences running the Lab, an International Labour Organization (ILO) project using a market systems approach to improve working conditions in developing economies, to see how adaptive management can be used for greater impact.
- GPSA Note 5: Adaptive Learning
This note is the fifth in the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA)'s six-part series 'Are We Ready for Strategic Social Accountability?' and is a diagnostic of field readiness for adaptive management. This note takes stock of the way a sample of 40 entries from the first two rounds of GPSA applications use learning, monitoring and evaluation to provide immediate feedback to improve the effectiveness of their social accountability interventions. This resource was suggested by Florencia Guerzovich.
- Outcome Evidencing: A Method for Enabling and Evaluating Program Intervention in Complex Systems
This article was suggested by Boru Douthwaite. It describes the development and use of a rapid evaluation approach to meet program accountability and learning requirements in a research for development program operating in five developing countries.
Outcome Harvesting can be a useful approach for adaptive management. Outcome Harvesting is particularly useful when outcomes, and even, inputs, activities and outputs, are not sufficiently specific or measurable at the time of planning an intervention. It is well-suited for evaluation in dynamic, uncertain (i.e., complex) situations.
This book touches on relevant topics to adaptive management from different national, supranational and international organisations' internal evaluation units. The focus of the book is on expressing the challenges, solutions and lessons in fostering organisational evaluative thinking and learning cultures.
- Putting learning at the centre: Adaptive development programming in practice
This ODI paper begins by clarifying why and what kind of learning matters for adaptive programming. The paper then turns its focus to how strategies and approaches applied throughout a programme’s conception, design, management and M&E can enable it to continually learn and adapt.
Thank you to our contributors
- Gavin Stedman-Bryce
- Boru Douthwaite
- John Dalton
- Michael Moses
- Donna Loveridge
- Ricardo Wilson-Grau
- Florencia Guerzovich
- Kowsar Gowhari
- Marlene Laeubli Loud
- Nicola Giordano
- Brandi Olson
- Sonia Chen
- Riccardo Polastro
- Ricky Kuswardono
- Ian Goldman
- J. Nelson-Weaver
'Using evaluation for adaptive management ' is referenced in: