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Wednesday, September 18 • 12:00pm - 12:30pm
Evaluating system change: Exploring how project innovations transform business as usual

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Adrian Field (Dovetail), Julian King (Julian King and Associates), Kate McKegg (The Knowledge Institute)

How do project innovations create changes in wider organisational systems and practice? This short paper will discuss our learning from evaluating three dynamic road safety projects working within an innovation umbrella programme.

This session will highlight the challenges and opportunities for taking innovation to scale, reflecting on our learning from theoretical approaches outside evaluation that offer compelling new windows for evaluator’s understanding of impact and change. Grounded in real-world application of three innovative road safety projects, the paper will present the inter-weaving of socio-technical systems theory, developmental evaluation, rubrics, and learning from the innovation literature.

These approaches were used, along with their practical application through rubrics and multiple data collection methods, to explore the extent to which the projects fostered innovation that translated into sustained business operations.

This paper will provide useful ideas and reflections for participants including how collaboratively developed evaluation rubrics were used to define and assess levels and dimensions of system change that each project could reflect against, through a developmental process of engagement and reflection.

We will also reflect on the contribution that collaborative partnerships, communities of practice, people-centred approaches, and reframing risk offer to evaluation practitioners as avenues for exploring the translation of innovation to system change. Socio-technical systems theory will be provided as a lens for understanding the potential for local or niche innovations to lever changes in wider systems.

The session will conclude with an exploration of the role of evaluation in capturing and catalysing innovation.

avatar for Natalie Fisher

Natalie Fisher

Director, NSF Consulting
I am an evaluation consultant with more than 15 years of experience working for clients predominantly in the arts and cultural sectors but also in environmental sustainability and human services. In 2017 I graduated with a Master of Evaluation from the University of Melbourne (First... Read More →

avatar for Julian King

Julian King

Director, Julian King & Associates
Julian specialises in evaluation and value for money. The Value for Investment evaluation system, developed through Julian’s doctoral research, combines evaluative and economic thinking to assess the quality, impact and value of policies and programs. Julian received the 2021 A... Read More →
avatar for Adrian Field

Adrian Field

Director, Dovetail
Adrian is the director of Dovetail, an Auckland-based evaluation consultancy, and a member of the Kinnect Group. Adrian has worked in evaluation in different capacities for some 20 years and doesn't really like how old that makes him feel. Adrian's experience traverses health, social... Read More →

Wednesday September 18, 2019 12:00pm - 12:30pm AEST