A System Psychodynamic Perspective on Evaluation

A System Psychodynamic Perspective on Evaluation

A presentation by Giorgia Iacopini and Leslie Brissett as part of our series on The Dynamics of Evaluation.

A presentation by Giorgia Iacopini and Leslie Brissett as part of our series on The Dynamics of Evaluation.

How can we increase understanding of, and work effectively with, underlying dynamics in operation in evaluation activities?

This lunchtime event was the second of four dialogues in the Dynamics of Evaluation series, contributing to our celebration of 2015 International Year of Evaluation. Each event takes a different perspective on challenges that can arise when undertaking an evaluation, either for evaluators, or those being evaluated, and how these might be addressed. In this second dialogue, we want to explore together with you, as participant, whether a system psychodynamic perspective can help us in making sense, and handle these challenges.

The session includes a presentation from Leslie Brissett who presents some key concepts from a system psychodynamic perspective which might help to make sense of what might happen in the evaluator – client relationship. Giorgia Iacopini presents an example of how an evaluator-client dynamic manifested itself in practice, using her experience of evaluating a programme working in the highly sensitive area of seeking to prevent violent extremism.



Leslie Brissett joined the Tavistock Institute through his involvement in the Group Relations Programme. Alongside his Consultancy role he is currently Company Secretary. Other recent roles for the Tavistock Institute include co-design and delivery of the Tavistock Institute Certificate in Dynamics at Board Level, Consultant on the NHS Citizen project and the Healers Project. Leslie has expertise and skill at working with the conscious and unconscious dynamics in multi-agency, inter-professional contexts and ensures a sound theoretical and practical basis for his interventions, consultations and policy work. He currently holds Board positions, including at a large general Further Education College. He has worked in local government and central and regional civil service leadership positions.

Giorgia Iacopini is a senior researcher and consultant at the TIHR, with a strong track record of delivering process evaluations and ex-post evaluations. Her areas of work include evaluations of programmes and projects in the fields of social inclusion, the prevention of radicalisation and her work also covers evaluation support: she facilitates evaluation training workshops for Government Departments and is currently supporting a third sector organisation to develop an evaluation framework. Current and recent work includes the Realising Ambition process evaluation (exploring what works and doesn’t work when replicating evidence-based interventions) and several local evaluations of the Prevent (Preventing Violent Extremism) programme (Birmingham, Peterborough, Lancashire, Hounslow, Tower Hamlets, the East London Tri-Borough. She is a member of the facilitation team of the UKES London network.

UPDATE: You can also watch a recording of ‘A System Psychodynamic Perspective‘ a live open class that took place recently as part of the Tavistock Chair in Social Science for Education and Change at the Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR).

Download a flyer detailing the Dynamics of Evaluation series.

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