Complexity-aware monitoring, evaluation & learning tools for social and behavior change interventions

This toolkit contains three tools to help design and evaluate complexity-aware social and behavior Change interventions.

This resource and the following information was contributed by Lenette Golding.

Authors and their affiliation

Advocacy Brief

Anna Martin and Katrina Mitchell, Picture Impact

Indicator Matrix

Paul Shelter Fast, Mennonite Central Committee

Susan Igras, Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health

Joseph Petraglia, Syntegral


Lenette Golding, Save the Children

Key features

The toolkit addresses three aspects of complexity:

  • Contextual complexity: the fact that the environment and implementation process itself shape outcomes of an intervention.
  • Temporal complexity: interventions evolve over time as target population and implementers change behaviours, and come to new understandings, and programmatic environments shift in response to new constraints, opportunities and priorities.
  • Interpretive complexity: as interventions are social activities, practitioners should acknowledge that every stakeholder understands the intervention partially and differently and has a unique perspective

This toolkit includes:

  1. An advocacy brief to help guide communication with donors and to help build fluency in communicating how to monitor and evaluate SBC interventions
  2. A core set of indicators related to adaptation, learning, and collaboration that can be used in proposals and work plans
  3. A checklist intended to help in the consistency and completeness of documenting SBC interventions.

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

SBC intervention complexity has clear and pressing implications for program monitoring, evaluation, and learning. The tools can be used to support practitioners to use complexity-aware monitoring approaches to enhance their monitoring and evaluation and adaptive learning, thereby improving the likelihood of project success.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

Complexity and context-sensitivity have long been recognized as a salient feature of SBC interventions; however, most efforts have limited themselves to describing the distinctive nature of complexity as it relates to SBC—very little practical guidance for the designers and implementers of SBC interventions has been available. This set of tools provides concrete directions that can be easily applied to any SBC intervention.


Complexity-Aware Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Tools for Social and Behavior Change Interventions (2021). CORE Group, Washington, DC. Retrieved from: