In these situations, using traditional indicators to evaluate a project becomes difficult. To use traditional indicators, you have to have a precise idea of what will change and at what point in time. Behavioural changes don’t always happen in a predictable way at the expected time. Hence, it is important to have the appropriate tools to measure them.
Change in reality
Complexity aware methods use a different approach. These methods look at what changes happened in reality and reason that back towards the original intention of an intervention.
In this video, Mike and Paola discuss an evaluation of a complex program in the Balkans aiming at promoting participative democracy.
(if you can't see the video it has probably something to do with your cookies, when you accept this you will see the videos on this website. Or go straight to Youtube to watch the video: https://youtu.be/-XArF0u5qRg).
At the time of the evaluation, the program staffs were growing increasingly frustrated because changes were not happening. The evaluation unveiled that change was happening, but not in the way they were expecting it. This was perfectly logic considering the complexity of the change process.
From frustration to motivation
This type of information can change everything for an organisation, making the shift from frustration to motivation. This is why MDF believes in evaluation as a way to bring about learning, reflection and support for organisations. And this is what motivates us as evaluators.