Category Archives: monitoring and complexity

Syntesis paper out now: Monitoring and measuring change in market systems

I am really happy to announce the publication of the Synthesis Paper of the so called ‘Systemic M&E’ initiative. The paper is the synthesis of conversations that started in MaFI in June 2010 and a series of online and in-person conversations that took place in the second half of 2012. It captures the voices of practitioners, academics, donors and entrepreneurs who are trying to find better ways to monitor and evaluate the influence of development projects on market systems and learn more, better and faster from their interventions. Continue reading

A bottom up perspective on results measurement

Thanks to my engagement in the ‘Systemic M&E’ initiative of the SEEP Network (where M&E stands for monitoring and evaluation but we really have been mainly looking into monitoring), I have beenĀ  discussing quite a bit with practitioners on monitoring and results measurement and how to make monitoring systems more systemic. For me this bottom up perspective is extremely revealing in how conscious these practitioners are about the complexities of the systems they work in and how they intuitively come up with solutions that are in line with what we could propose based on complexity theory and systems thinking. Nevertheless, practitioners are often still strongly entangled in the overly formalistic and data-driven mindset of the results agenda. This mindset is based on a mechanistic view of systems with clear cause-and-effect relationships and a bias for objectively obtained data that is stripped from its context and by that rendered largely meaningless for improving implementation. Continue reading

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