Evaluation 2018: Speaking Truth to Power

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Introducing a structured systems-thinking approach to uncover ongoing supports and barriers in a network of family planning activities

Session Number: 2125
Track: Systems in Evaluation
Session Type: Ignite
Tags: 21st Century Skills, system map, Systems Thinking
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Kristen Hassmiller Lich [Assistant Professor - Department of Health Policy & Management, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Sian Louise Curtis [Research Associate Professor - UNC]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Meghan Corroon [Associate Technical Director - Carolina Population Center - UNC Chapel Hill]
Time: Nov 02, 2018 (11:30 AM - 12:15 PM)
Room: CC - 3: Ignite 48 (Fri 12:05-12:10pm)

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

System Support Mapping (SSM) is an innovative, structured, and practical approach for individuals or groups to document how well they are supported in a defined scope of work. We motivate and illustrate its use within an ongoing five-year prospective portfolio-level evaluation of family planning initiatives in two African countries. SSM allows the evaluation team to efficiently understand how grantees' activities evolve over time, what is needed to successfully complete planned work over time, emerging systemic supports and barriers, and wishes for how they could be better supported. While grantees' SSMs tell the developmental story of their own work, we also analyze them as a network to uncover patterns across areas of activity within the portfolio (e.g., demand generation, data use, model testing). SSM offers a mixed-methods approach, allowing participants to rank/rate factors within maps and frequency of themes to be determined across maps, while preserving the "story" within maps.

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