Special issue of the Evaluation Journal
The special issue of Evaluation: The International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice published on 14 January is dedicated to the work of CECAN – the Centre for Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus.
In the editorial for the issue, Elliot Stern writes:
“This journal has pioneered and championed thinking about complexity in evaluation for more than two decades. We have devoted less attention to how evaluation theory and methods translate into the practical world of government and policy making. Committing an entire special issue to the outputs of CECAN, a research centre working on the complexity/practice interface, may go some way to re-balancing our coverage of this important topic”
As a partner of CECAN since its inception, the Tavistock Institute had a hand in many different areas of the Centre’s work and was a member of the guest editorial team for the special issue. Our contribution is reflected both in the content of the introductory essay:
Policy evaluation for a complex world: Practical methods and reflections from the UK Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity across the Nexus
and 2 articles:
Don’t panic: Bringing complexity thinking to UK Government evaluation guidance
Building a system-based Theory of Change using Participatory Systems Mapping
Dione Hills from the Tavistock Institute responds:
“It has been a great – and rewarding – pleasure to work with my CECAN colleagues on the special issue of Evaluation. This issue reflects the hard work that has taken place by CECAN partners over the last 4 years to generate new thinking and new resources for policy makers and evaluators grappling with the challenge of complexity.
The Centre created a unique opportunity for dialogue between academics working in the areas of complexity and social sciences, government policy makers and analysts, and evaluation practitioners. This dialogue was then translated into joint work generating case studies, workshops and events, and guidance documents.
I was particularly delighted with the opportunities CECAN provided for me to contribute to the creation of 3 new, very practical resources for policy makers and evaluators:
a supplement to the HM Treasuries revised Magenta book (cross-government guidance on evaluation) on handling complexity in policy evaluation;
Visual representation of key features of complexity; and
Complexity Evaluation Framework for Defra.
I look forward to continuing work with CECAN colleagues in generating new ways to support those wishing to make use of these resources, and more effectively align their evaluation practices with the complexities of our world.”
Watch the video of Dione introducing the Magenta Book 2020 Supplementary Guide on Complexity.
Evaluation is published by Sage in association with the Tavistock Institute.
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