Evaluation 2019: Paths to the Future of Evaluation: Contribution, Leadership, and Renewal

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Utilizing Complexity in Evaluation: Persistent Challenges and Opportunities

Session Number: 2811
Track: Systems in Evaluation
Session Type: Roundtable
Tags: complex systems, complexity, complexity in evaluation consulting, Graduate Students, Human Systems Dynamics, Systems Thinking
Session Facilitator: John N Murray [Student - University of Minnesota]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Alissa L. Jones [University of Minnesota]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Calli Thompson [New Student Program Coordinator - University of Minnesota]
Time: Nov 14, 2019 (05:00 PM - 05:45 PM)
Room: CC M100 A

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Modern evaluation practice and recent developments in evaluation theory have utilized an increased number of complexity theories and frameworks. In many ways, it is a natural evolution as evaluation practice could be seen as a process to make sense of complex systems and programs. We have understood programs, policies, and interventions do not operate in isolation, but are the result of a network of interconnected agents and interactions. However, while evaluation practitioners and theorists have begun to utilize complexity frameworks, a process for equipping evaluators with tools to interact with complexity is missing. I will present a case for the thoughtful application of complexity frameworks for evaluators and set up a roundtable discussion to survey the state of evaluators engaging with complex adaptive systems.

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