Monitoring and evaluation to support adaptive management
The term 'adaptive management' refers to adaptation that goes beyond the usual adaptation involved in good management - modifying plans in response to changes in circumstances or understanding, and using information to inform these decisions.
Adaptive management refers to an approach to managing under conditions of ongoing uncertainty which represents a paradigm shift from classic, linear approaches to planning, implementation and evaluation.
This approach to using information is needed when it is not possible to gather sufficient information at the planning stage to be able to make detailed plans. It involves deliberately taking actions in order to learn and adapt as needed under conditions of ongoing uncertainty.
Adaptive management has become increasingly relevant in response to rapidly changing situations, including the COVID-19 pandemic and is one of BetterEvaluation's current priority areas for content development and engagement.
Evaluation for adaptive management initiatives
- Doing development differently (DDD)
The Doing Development Differently project by ODI (Overseas Development Institute), which includes a focus on iterative learning.
- Adaptive management: What it means for CSOs (Civil Society Organisations)
A 2016 report by Michael O’Donnell from BOND.
- Complexity-aware monitoring
This resource from the USAID Learning Lab Learning Group explores monitoring innovations for adaptive management.
- The problem driven iterative adaptation approach
This was developed by the Building State Capability group at the Centre for International Development, Harvard, which is based on four principles, including the principle of try, learn iterate, adapt
- USAID DfID global learning for adaptive management (GLAM
This initiative supports adaptive management in DFID and USAID programmes
- Adaptive development google group
A threaded discussion list
Ramalingam, B. Wild, L. and Buffardi, A. (2019) Making adaptive rigour work: Principles and practices for strengthening monitoring, evaluation and learning for adaptive management. London: ODI.
Ramalingam, B. Wild, L. and Buffardi, A. (2019) Annex | Making adaptive rigour work: the adaptive rigour inventory – version 1.0
Britt, H. US Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning. (2013). Discussion note: Complexity aware monitoring.
Williams, B., & Hummelbrunner, R. (2010). Systems concepts in action a practitioner's toolkit. Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press. Retrieved from https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=18331
'Monitoring and evaluation to support adaptive management' is referenced in: