Designing and delivering robust evaluations in complexity

​​

Evaluations of more complex programmes

  • may need to serve multiple stakeholders' needs - not only the commissioners

  • there may be a wide range of evaluation questions each requiring different a different methodology and data

  • there may be numerous outcomes and 'outcome pathways' to establish if causal processes are to be explained and evidenced.

  • there may be many stakeholders who play a part in the change whose role needs to be understood and whose contribution to change evaluated.

  • data about inputs, activity, performance and outcomes from multiple stakeholders may require detailed mapping and upfront agreement

  • the likelihood of emergence and change in what is being delivered / implemented needs to be 'baked in' to the evaluation design from the start

  • a transdisciplinary approach might be needed within the evaluation team to enable mutual understanding and effective communication across different analytical or professional domains.

  • frequent cycles of evaluation and reporting may be required to support ongoing learning and adapation across a network, as well as providing 'end of programme' findings.