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Wednesday, September 18 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Unpacking the complex boxes

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Joanna Farmer (Deloitte)

Social problems appear more complex than ever before, as people - and the services that support them - are ever more connected.

Policy and program developers increasingly recognise that the solutions to interdependent challenges are complex interventions. However, as evaluators, we are often expected to work within boxes, constrained in the extent to which we can address complexity. Some of these constraints are practical - funding and program scope - while others pose fundamental challenges to how we do evaluation, such as balancing our accountabilities to all relevant stakeholders.

Evaluation is an important part of the policy making cycle that provides valuable information on intervention design and implementation. But to maintain relevance in an increasingly complex world, evaluators have to adapt approaches that look to systems - not simply programs. Evaluators need to look not just at what's in the box, but what's beyond.

In this world café session, attendees will be encouraged to step outside their current box - be it their discipline, sector or theoretical leanings - to share and learn with others while we unpack the big boxes of evaluation. In opening, the presenter will draw on evaluation theory and her experiences designing evaluations for complex social problems before providing key discussion topics for attendees.

Contributions will be summarised and provided back to participants after the session.

avatar for Mathea Roorda

Mathea Roorda

Senior consultant, Allen + Clarke
Values inform what matters, and are at the heart of evaluation. You literally can't get to an evaluative judgement without them. I'm interested in approaches to systematically identifying what matters, and for whom. Come talk with me about the values identification matrix (VIM) I... Read More →

avatar for Jo Farmer

Jo Farmer

I'm a policymaker and evaluator focused on improving the health and wellbeing of all Australians, particularly those with mental illness. My experience includes strategic planning, evaluation and service design in not for profits, government and service delivery agencies.My particular... Read More →

Wednesday September 18, 2019 1:30pm - 2:30pm AEST