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Monitoring and Evaluating When Facing Complexity: Perspectives From a Practitioner-Led Initiative (Event Resources)

MPEP Seminar Series #2
Marcus Jenal
April 25, 2013

Markets are not static, but in constant flux. Changes in markets are not predictable and often surprising, even after thorough market analysis and strategic planning. Interventions turn out results that were either unforeseen or unanticipated. This type of change creates specific challenges for monitoring and evaluation of development interventions. Changes in markets must be monitored and measured using approaches that embrace their dynamic and unpredictable nature. Advances in complexity sciences can provide useful principles and concepts to build a foundation and more relevant frameworks for monitoring and evaluating market and financial systems.

This session features insights from the SEEP Network’s Systemic M&E Initiative, a practitioner led initiative supported by USAID and fhi360 that has been exploring innovative ways to monitor and evaluate interventions in market and financial systems. The session begins with an introduction to systems and characteristics of complex adaptive systems, seen by many as a promising model to improve the effectiveness of development initiatives when facing complex realities in market systems. This part of the session addresses questions such as: What exactly are systems? What are complex adaptive systems? What are the characteristics of such systems? Why are they relevant for inclusive market and financial development initiatives? The second part of the session introduces seven principles for monitoring and evaluating complex systems, and illustrates their application through project cases taken from international development initiatives. The session concludes with an outlook on planned activities by the Systemic M&E Initiative.


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