Revaluation is a new methodology for measuring change in complex systems. It has been created by Andrew Darnton and Andrew Harrison, and comes out of a year’s work evaluating ‘bottom-up’ change in the NHS.
Revaluation has evolved from practice, and feels like participative research. It also attends closely to theory, holding that in a complex system multiple actors pursue multiple outcomes, based on multiple understandings of how change happens. In such complex systems, we cannot ask ‘what works?’, without first asking ‘what is going on?’. This in turn equalises the relationship between evaluator and evaluated; together they find that asking where the value is in a system both reveals and creates value. The relationship between measurement and change is thrown open.
Following its origination in the NHS in 2015, Revaluation has been applied to a number of policy and practice interventions in complex systems, including tackling biodiversity loss (for the Welsh Government), increasing physical activity (Derbyshire Sport), transforming service delivery (Grapevine/Coventry CC), and supporting vulnerable young mothers (the Family Nurse Partnership, N Ireland). In parallel, Andrew Darnton has been awarded a Fellowship at CECAN, where he is situating Revaluation within the canon of other complexity-based approaches (with mentorship from Dione Hills of the Tavistock Institute).
In this lunchtime seminar the two Andrews spoke about the Revaluation approach, illustrating the process with findings from a number of recent projects. There was also an opportunity for groupwork, giving participants a feel for what Revaluation has to offer relative to current approaches.
Recording of the talk
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Andrew Harrison brings 30+ years’ experience of work informed by systems’ theory. He is an associate of Tavistock Consulting, a member of the faculty at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, adviser to NHS England, DCLG, the EU and OECD (at whose study centre at Trento, Italy, he directs programmes). He began his working career in the 3rd sector economic development and regeneration investment. He then advised, trained and evaluated all of the major area based programmes in the UK inner cities (Task Forces, City Challenge, New Deal for Communities, Health Action Zones, Education Action Zones etc). His interest in complex systems – as an organisational form and governance challenge – has grown over the past 15 years; and almost all of his work is now in such settings – both within and between organisations from all sectors. Andrew is a Master’s graduate of both Oxford and Birmingham Universities, and holds an EMCC advance diploma in organisational coaching. His clients include: the Health Foundation, Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, the OECD, EU, Pocklington Trust, West Midlands Combined Authority, NHS England, Mandalah Global. He directs the learning studio, and is co-founder with Andrew Darnton of Revaluation, the collective for valuing paradigm shift.
Andrew Darnton is an independent researcher, specialising in behavioural theory and social change. Andrew has worked with every Department in the UK Government except the MoD – as well as with the governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – plus associated agencies, universities, NGOs and other civil society organisations. In 2008, Andrew wrote the Behaviour Change Knowledge Review for the Government Social Research Unit. He is the creator of the ISM model for influencing behaviours, currently the Scottish Government’s behavioural insight tool of choice. Andrew has also acted as an external adviser on evaluations of policies and interventions in complex systems. For instance in 2005 he ran the public evaluation of Make Poverty History, and in 2014 he undertook a review of Mind’s ‘Time to Change’ mental health and stigma campaign. Andrew holds a Fellowship in the ESRC-funded Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) at the University of Surrey, and is a trustee of the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol.
‘Revaluation: Measuring Value, Making Value’ was presented by Andrew Harrison & Andrew Darnton as part of the Tavistock Institute’s Food For Thought series.