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Monday, September 16 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Applying Systems Evaluation Theory

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Ralph Renger (Just Evaluation Services, US), Lewis Atkinson (Haines Centre for Strategic Management), Brian Keogh (Cobalt59)

This interactive session will use Systems Evaluation Theory (SET) applied to a case study to explore the limitations of logic models in capturing context and evaluating complexity.

Systems Evaluation Theory (SET) has been developed because of a frustration with logic models in evaluation being linear, isolated and removed from context (Renger R. , 2015) (Reynolds, 2016). SET is advanced as a model that is closer to the true workings of a program. SET looks at a program as a series of systems (rather than a linear cause and effect process) and develops an understanding of the various interactions. Using SET, an evaluation also develops an understanding of the influence of the surrounding environment.

SET incorporates all the principles of effective use of systems thinking in evaluation, released at the end of 2018 by the American Evaluation Society.

A case study will illustrate the benefits of using the systems thinking concepts of elements, relationships & boundaries to guide adaptation to emergent and dynamic realities in complex environments. This study will also show the important link between effectiveness and efficiency, a concept often completely overlooked using program logic. This link is explored through:
  1. Achieving, maintaining and streamlining standard operating procedures
  2. The use of system feedback loops
  3. Reworks and reflex arcs
  4. Subsystem interactions

avatar for Gill Westhorp

Gill Westhorp

Professorial Research Fellow, Charles Darwin University
Gill leads the Realist Research Evaluation and Learning Initiative (RREALI) at Charles Darwin University. RREALI develops new methods and tools within a realist framework, supports development of competency in realist approaches and provides realist evaluation and research services... Read More →

avatar for Brian Keogh

Brian Keogh

Principal, Cobalt 59
Brian has over 20 years experience in evaluating programs, business models and working with systems theory. His consultancy work ranges from facilitating the creation of strategic plans and business cases to carrying out detailed impact and efficiency evaluations. His is particularly... Read More →
avatar for Ralph Renger

Ralph Renger

President, Just Evaluation Services (JESS)
Dr. Renger specializes in advancing theory and methods for program and system evaluation. He taught program and system evaluation for 23 years at the Universities of Arizona and North Dakota before starting his own consulting firm. Most recently he has garnered international recognition... Read More →
avatar for Lewis Atkinson

Lewis Atkinson

Global Partner, Haines Centre for Strategic Management Ltd
Lewe is an architect of strategic and social transformation using the systems thinking approach. He is also a member of the Ian Potter Foundation evaluation pool. The Haines Centre for Strategic Management Ltd is a Global Network of facilitators, consultants & trainers using the... Read More →

Monday September 16, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm AEST