Tag Archives: systemic monitoring

Refining the Complexity aware Theory of Change

When I wrote my last post about experimenting with new structures for a complexity aware Theory of Change (ToC) in Myanmar, I had a few elements in place, but still some questions. Going further back to an earlier post, I was clear that differentiating between clear causal links for complicated issues and unpredictable causalities for complex ones is critical. I have been thinking about that a lot and last week I have taught a session on monitoring in complex contexts and I think I have found the final piece of the puzzle. Continue reading

Monitoring and Measuring Change in Systems: case study out now

Systemic M&E Case StudyThe SEEP Network published a new paper, which I have co-authored together with Lucho Osorio and Margie Brand. The publication is part of SEEP’s Systemic M&E Initiative.

This paper evaluates the validity and usefulness of seven principles for appropriate design and management of systemic M&E frameworks. The principles were defined in an earlier publication (see here). This new paper now puts the principles to the test in the context of the Market Assistance Program (MAP) in Kenya and its institutional host, the Kenya Markets Trust (KMT).

You can download the publication from the SEEP Website.

Monitoring and Results Measurement: ideas for a new conceptual framework

In this post I want to share with you an idea of a new conceptual framework for monitoring and results measurement (MRM) in market system development projects. To manage your expectations, I will not present a finished new framework, but a model I have been pondering with for a while. The model is still in an early state but it would be great to harness your feedback to further improve on it. Indeed, what is presented here is based on everything I have learned in recent years from a large number of practitioners that contributed to the discussion on Systemic M&E, my work in the field, but particularly also from the guest contributions here on my blog by Aly Miehlbradt and Daniel Ticehurst and the intense discussions on MaFI. The ideas are strongly based on the learning from the Systemic M&E Initiative and also apply the seven principles of Systemic M&E, although I am not doing this explicitly. Continue reading

Results Measurement and the DCED Standard: a commitment to move forward

We now need to start a constructive discussion on how a truly systemic Monitoring and Results Measurement (MRM) framework could look like (as Evaluation does not play a big role in the current discussions, I am adopting the expression MRM and avoid the M&E). In this post, I will take up the discussions on MRM and the DCED Standard for Results Measurement from the two guest posts by Aly Miehlbradt and Daniel Ticehurst and will add from a discussion that runs in parallel on the very active forum of the Market Facilitation Initiative (MaFI). I will also add my own perspective suggesting that we need to find a new conceptual model to define causality in complex market system. Based on that, in my next post, I will try to outline a possible new conceptual model for MRM. Continue reading

Presenting the Systemic M&E Initiative at MPEP Seminar

MPEP SeminarI will be presenting the Systemic M&E Initiative at the upcoming MPEP Seminar on Thursday, April 25 in Washington DC. You can either participate in person or via Webinar. More information on the event and the possibility to register can be found here.

The presentation will have two parts. In the first part, I will present a general introduction to systems and complexity and why this is relevant for our work in development. In the second part, I will feature the seven principles we derived from the practitioner discussions during the Systemic M&E initiative.

Guest Post: Daniel Ticehurst with a critical reply on the DCED Standard

Daniel TicehurstAfter submitting a long comment as a reply to Aly Miehlbradt’s post, I could win Daniel Ticehurst to instead write another guest post. Daniel’s perspective on the DCED Standard nicely contrasts with the one put forward by Aly and I invite you all to contribute with your own experiences to the discussion. This was not originally planned as a debate with multiple guest posts, but we all adapt to changing circumstances, right?

Dear Marcus and Aly, many thanks for the interesting blog posts on monitoring and results measurement, the DCED standard and what it says relating to the recent Synthesis on Monitoring and Measuring changes in market systems.

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Guest Post: Aly Miehlbradt on the DCED Standard and Systemic M&E

Aly MiehlbradtThis is a guest post by Aly Miehlbradt. Aly is sharing her thoughts and experiences on monitoring and results measurement in market systems development projects. She highlights the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) Standard for Results Measurement and its inception as a bottom-up process and draws parallels between the Standard, her own experiences, and the recently published Synthesis Paper of the Systemic M&E Initiative.

In one of Marcus’s recent blog posts, he cites the SEEP Value Initiative paper, “Monitoring and Results Measurement in Value Chain Development: 10 Lessons from Experience” (download the paper here), as a good example of a bottom-up perspective that focuses on making results measurement more meaningful for programme managers and staff. Indeed the SEEP Value Initiative was a great learning experience, and is just one example of significant and on-going work among practitioners and donors aimed at improving monitoring and results measurement (MRM) to make it more useful and meaningful. The DCED Results Measurement Standard draws on and embodies much of this work and, also, promotes it. In fact, the lessons in MRM that emerged from the SEEP Value initiative came from applying the principles in the DCED Results Measurement Standard.

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Systemic monitoring


I have been very lucky to work for an initiative termed ‘Systemic M&E’ (although we talk more about the ‘M’ than the ‘E’), focusing on ways to move away from a linear and static understanding of the systems we work in and develop tools and approaches that let us monitor changes in the complexity of the real world. Continue reading