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Equity-focused developmental evaluation using critical systems thinking

Reynolds, Martin (2012). Equity-focused developmental evaluation using critical systems thinking. In: 10th European Evaluation Society Biennial Conference: Evaluation in the networked society: new concepts, new challenges, new solutions, 3-5 Oct 2012, Helsinki.

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Developmental evaluation questions the ethical basis of an intervention in terms of whether it’s ‘doing the right thing’ rather than merely ‘doing things right’. But developmental evaluation invites a space for exploring not only ethical but also political issues associated particularly with equity-focused evaluations. Drawing on ideas from critical systems thinking (CST) and critical systems heuristics, an evaluation framework with a pro-equity focus is suggested. The framework addresses issues of complex interrelationships, invites theory of change associated with philosophical ethics, and provides a means of surfacing, and potentially transforming, debilitating relations of power in a complex evaluand. A case study of the long-standing Narmada project in India is used to illustrate the workings of proposed framework. The paper describes how the underpinning methodological ideas of CST incorporating triple-loop learning can enhance the practice of developmental evaluation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Copyright Holders: 2012 The Author
Keywords: developmental evaluation; ethics; critical systems thinking; critical systems heuristics; theory of change; triple-loop learning
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Engineering and Innovation
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Item ID: 36332
Depositing User: Martin Reynolds
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2013 11:40
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2018 05:55
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