The past few years have dealt hard blows for global development. Conflict, climate change, Covid-19 and geopolitical shifts have accelerated a series of cascading and connected global crises that have had devastating effects on the world’s most marginalised and vulnerable communities. The complexity, scale and urgency of the challenges we face has never felt so stark.
Embracing a systems perspective
This context has far reaching implications for the evaluation profession. Incremental improvements to the ways we work are not enough to analyse nuance, political shifts, and deal with complex variables effectively.
Many social science experts agree that social problems are the product of a complex network of cause and effects – and, one that is best viewed from a systems perspective.
This perspective challenges how we work as monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) practitioners: how we develop collective solutions, how we support a learning culture, and how we deal with different perspectives and power imbalances. It requires us to embrace a bold new MEL agenda.
We identify three areas of focus to take this forwards:
- Working with large, complex and emergent situations places more pressure for locally-adaptive solutions. So how can we as MEL practitioners foster equitable and localised modes of working and generating evidence?
- Technology and innovation offers new ways to understand the complexity of the systems in which we operate. So, how can we harness the potential of new approaches to measurement and learning?
- Climate change requires us to better understand both social and natural systems. So, how can we build a sustainability and climate lens into everything that we do?
Sharing knowledge and learning together
These three areas represent some of the greatest challenges facing the MEL community this decade. To support knowledge sharing and advance collective thinking on these frontier themes, we are hosting a series of three online panel events during 2023:
- Localising monitoring, evaluation and learning
A cross-sector discussion to advance understandings of how we can collectively foster equitable and localised ways of working and generating evidence. Register now.
- Exploring technical innovations in MEL for systemic change
An exploration of cutting-edge approaches to measurement and learning, and how they can help us better understand and respond to the complexity of today’s societal problems. Register now.
- Mainstreaming climate change into MEL practices
A discussion of how the MEL profession can better understand and respond to the connections between social and natural systems. This includes how we can work in ways that systemically integrate climate considerations. Details coming soon.
Each event will bring together a diverse panel of experts from organisations that play different roles in the monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) ecosystem. This includes evaluation commissioners and evaluators working in different contexts around the world.
Together we will have an open discussion about progress to date, the challenges that different stakeholders have encountered, and what opportunities exist for collaboration and action going forward.
Each panel event is free and open to all. Please join us!
If you have any queries about our online panel events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org