Showcase of Evaluation Case Studies

Between Memory and Experience

| April 20, 2010

I recently watched this TED Talk by Daniel Kahneman – he won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his pioneering work in behavioral economics. The key takeaway for me was the disconnect between ‘experience’ and ‘memory’. This got me thinking about all sorts of contexts, from own happiness to the implications for evaluating behaviour change. […]


If so much change occurs through word of mouth, how do we evaluate it?

| April 13, 2010

There is general agreement that word of mouth marketing is a critical element of changing behaviour. Whether it is a family member, colleague, neighbour, or friend, we are more likely to take on the advice and behaviours that are modelled by those we trust. This is the basis of effective communication (think also of the […]


When evaluation reinforces the status quo

| April 9, 2010

I see a lot of similarities between behaviour change interventions for sustainability and international development assistance. Both fields seek to intervene to change participants’ behaviours, and generally this is done through a linear model of cause and effect, where the intervention is evaluated as the sole agent of change. In a recent post on complexity […]


Overcoming existing evaluation cultures and processes

| March 29, 2010

A post on evaluation and complexity on Rick Davies monitoring and evaluation news site has a link to a great powerpoint on evaluation and the science of complexity by Ben Ramalingam. Ben notes that for many organisations, evaluations are at the centre of a vicious circle that includes pressure to show results and impacts, and […]


To evaluate or not to evaluate?

| March 17, 2010

This is a question that we don’t really ask ourselves, as we are often made to evaluate (to account for the money we received and spent), and to is also in our nature to demonstrate success (and hide failure..??). A recent post by by Chris Brogan,   that we should pursue the goal, not the method […]


Agility and Change

| March 17, 2010

Neil Perkin penned this terrific post Agile Planning. Image Source This post resonated loudly with me because of the recent work I have been doing as a facilitator with Government agencies. Also, the upcoming Show Me The Change conference in Melbourne this May is also linked. Here’s a snapshot of Neil’s Agile post: We are […]


Exploding cylinders, complexity and evaluating behaviour change

| March 10, 2010

Last July, and an oxygen cylinder aboard a Qantas plane suffered what could be considered a relatively rare “behaviour change” in that it exploded, ripping a large hole in the fuselage. Following a stringent follow-up investigation (or evaluation), the cause of the exploding cylinder still remains a mystery. The news item reported that investigators even […]


Resources for evaluation in complexity

| March 6, 2010

A group of Canadians are working with the public health system in Nova Scotia to shift the way health care is delivered to a more collaborative model. Along the way they are running capacity building workingshops exploring the Art of Social Innovation. In response to a recent call from these hosts, several resources have been […]


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People matter!

| March 2, 2010

Evaluation of behaviour change. No mention of people there. Yet it’s people who are at the heart of behaviour change and evaluation. This was brought home to me vividly in this post from an aid worker in Haiti where assessments are an integral part of the response process. As I write this, I’ve been in […]


What do we measure and Why?

| February 28, 2010

Meg Wheatley on great questions to ask as we think about measurement, especially in complex living systems (like human communities): Who gets to create the measures? Measures are meaningful and important only when generated by those doing the work. Any group can benefit from others’ experience and from experts, but the final measures need to […]