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Know When Your Challenges Are In the Zone of ComplexityReflexive monitoring in action
Marlen Arkesteijn (WUR)
Humidtropics...
Objectives of the day
 Getting a basic understanding of simple,
complicated and complex situations and their
related M&E ...
Outline of the day
08.30-08.45 Introduction
08.45- 09.45 Introduction on Reflexive Monitoring in
Action (Video around 09.3...
Outline of the day
13.00-13.30 E-mail time
13.30-14.00 Explanation timeline
14.00-15.00 Working session timeline
15.00-15....
?
Current
situation
Desired
situation
Change/
innovation
?
Current
situation
Desired
situation
Change/
innovation
Improving
livelihood
Sustainable
intensification
Gender
empowerme...
Michael Quinn Patton
May, 2008
Simple situations
CertaintyClose to Far from
Closeto
Simple
Plan, control
Michael Quinn Patton
May, 2008
Technically complicated situations
CertaintyClose to Far from
Closeto
Simple
Plan, control
...
Michael Quinn Patton
May, 2008
Socially complicated situations
CertaintyClose to Far from
Closeto
Simple
Plan, control
Tec...
Michael Quinn Patton
May, 2008
Complex situations
CertaintyClose to Far from
Closeto
Simple
Plan, control
Zone of
Complexi...
Third dimension of complicated- complex
problems
Systemic stability
At least three mechanisms that provide stability to an agricultural
system:
1. The rules in the system:...
Discussion
Given the three dimensions
of complex agricultural systems
(uncertainty, disagreement,
systemic stability):
Wha...
Implications for monitoring and evaluation for
interventions in complicated and complex
situations
 Dynamic indicators, p...
Implications for Design, monitoring and
evaluation
Simple Complicated Complex
Characteris
-tics
Planable
Linear relations
...
Reflexive Monitoring in Action
A short introduction
Reflexivity
 Reflect – Looking back and thinking about what
happened, what does it mean, how to proceed?
 Reflexive- Cha...
Reflexivity
 Video Overview
What is RMA?
 Monitoring and evaluation of processes of
collective learning for (system) innovation
 to keep the focus o...
Principles
 RMA is more a way of thinking and
acting, than the application of tools
 RMA is embedded in collective
platf...
RMA as a practice
 Iterative and short feedback
cycles of observation, analysis of,
reflection on collective activities
a...
RMA as a balancing act
 Usually making use of a
monitor who seeks
balances between:
 distance and involvement
 apprecia...
Role of the monitor
• Keeps asking the basic questions to keep long term
system innovation in the basket, to align short t...
Questions till so far?
 Any questions till so far?
RMA Tools
 Collective system analysis (show)
 Causal analysis
 Diaries/log books
 Learning framework with process and ...
Collective System Analysis
Collective System Analysis: key situation for its use
You want to get a picture of the causes of the
persistent problems y...
Step 1 Prepare:
Read about the matrix
List actors
Prepare main question
consumers producers legislators knowledge
institut...
Step 2
Let the group
make individual
inventories of
barriers and
opportunities
On post-its
Step 3
Let participants
place their
barriers in the
matrix.
Analyse barriers:
Why?
Complete?
Clusters/ links?
Step 4
Let participants
place their
opportunities in
the matrix
Analysis of
opportunities:
External?
Complete?
Clusters/ l...
Consumers Producers Regulators Knowledge
institutes
Interest
organisations
Infrastructure
Hard
institutions
Soft
instituti...
Step 6
Care for the
follow-up:
Discuss results
regularly
Do additional
exploration
Repeat whole
process in case
of externa...
Example
Pest management in maize
Learning and change framework
Key situation for using the learning + change
framework and/or stories of change
Reflect with network members on the
quali...
Learning + change framework and process
indicators
Process conditions
Platform development Heterogenity
Prime movers
Sense...
Learning and change framework
Learning Acting,
behaviour,
practices
Institutional
change
Individual
Organisation
Platform
...
Step 1 Harvest stories
of change: Let
all members tell
their most
significant
change story (as
a result of the
platform/pr...
Step 2
Let the members
tell their story of
change
Step 3 Others ask
informative
questions to
complete and
enrich the story
Step 4 Explain the
learning
framework
Effects New insights/
knowledge
Changes of
behaviour, practices,
action
Institutiona...
Step 5 Let the members
assess their
story and place
it in the
framework.
Discuss where
most stories are
placed and
discuss...
Step 6 Discuss follow
up:
• adjust activities
• make new
agenda
• make narrative
to share with
others
• use it for
evaluat...
Example
Learning
networks WASH
IRC
Effects New insights/
knowledge
Changes of
behaviour, practices,
action
Institutional c...
Exercise Learning –change Framework-
Harvest of stories of change
1. Form groups (4)
2. 20 min: Each member writes down (f...
Useful?
Would this tool be helpful in your
situation? How? Can you name a
situation in which it could be helpful/
not be h...
Dynamic Learning Agenda
Dynamic Learning Agenda: Key situation for its use
Keeping difficult issues on the agenda
Step 1
Broad inventory of
hindrances, struggles
and challenges “in
people’s own words”
Step 2
QuickTime™ and a
TIFF(ongecomprimeerd) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
Reformulate
challenges
into lea...
Step 3
Use agenda
during regular
network meetings
And adapt the
agenda with
each meeting
Step 4
Reflect on
questions that
remain on the
agenda
Step 5
Evaluate the progress with
the agenda
Example
Agromere, urban
agriculture
Useful?
Would this tool be helpful in your
situation? How? Name a situation in
which it could be helpful/ not be
helpful.
...
Timeline
Key situation for using the Timeline
Reflect with participants on the
challenges, successes, learning
experiences of a net...
Step 1
Collect and
examine data to
put together a
timeline with
events/ facts only
Step 2
Hand out the
timeline and tell the
story in facts.
Participants make
notes as they listen.
Step 3 Check: Is story
correct?
Let participants
write down their
key moments of
learning/ change
(high and low) in
key wo...
Step 4
Share three key
comments/
person.
Put post its on
timeline.
Discuss events
with different
interpretations.
Do you s...
Step 5 Discuss how the
changes/
learning relate to
higher goals and
discuss follow
up:
• adjust activities
• make new
agen...
Example
Maize network
Self-organised exercise timeline
One experience we all share:This workshop
1. Make a timeline with days and sessions as ev...
Useful?
Would this tool be helpful in your
situation? How? Can you name a
situation in which it could be helpful/
not be h...
Free download & in Dropbox
 http://www.wageningenur.nl/nl/show/Reflexive-
Monitoring-in-Action.htm
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Reflexive monitoring in action

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Presented by Marlen Arkesteijn (WUR) at the Humidtropics Capacity Development Workshop, Nairobi, 29 April–2 May 2014


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Reflexive monitoring in action

  1. 1. Know When Your Challenges Are In the Zone of ComplexityReflexive monitoring in action Marlen Arkesteijn (WUR) Humidtropics capacity development workshop, Nairobi, 29 April – 2 May 2014 http://humidtropics.cgiar.org/
  2. 2. Objectives of the day  Getting a basic understanding of simple, complicated and complex situations and their related M&E approaches/methods;  Getting acquainted with the principles of Reflexive Monitoring in Action;  Learning to work with some of the reflexive tools
  3. 3. Outline of the day 08.30-08.45 Introduction 08.45- 09.45 Introduction on Reflexive Monitoring in Action (Video around 09.30) 09.45-10.00 Explanation ‘Learning-change framework’ 10.00-10.30 Coffee break 10.30- 12.00 Working session: Learning-change framework 12.00- 13.00 Lunch
  4. 4. Outline of the day 13.00-13.30 E-mail time 13.30-14.00 Explanation timeline 14.00-15.00 Working session timeline 15.00-15.30 Coffee break 15.30-16.00 Reflection on RMA and tools 16.00-17.00 Post workshop quiz 17.00-17.30 Wrap up
  5. 5. ? Current situation Desired situation Change/ innovation
  6. 6. ? Current situation Desired situation Change/ innovation Improving livelihood Sustainable intensification Gender empowerment System innovation IDO SOs Income Nutrition Productivity Environment Gender Innovation ?
  7. 7. Michael Quinn Patton May, 2008 Simple situations CertaintyClose to Far from Closeto Simple Plan, control
  8. 8. Michael Quinn Patton May, 2008 Technically complicated situations CertaintyClose to Far from Closeto Simple Plan, control Technically Complicated Experiment, coordinate expertise
  9. 9. Michael Quinn Patton May, 2008 Socially complicated situations CertaintyClose to Far from Closeto Simple Plan, control Technically Complicated Experiment, coordinate expertise Socially Complicated Build relationships, create common ground
  10. 10. Michael Quinn Patton May, 2008 Complex situations CertaintyClose to Far from Closeto Simple Plan, control Zone of Complexity Technically Complicated Experiment, coordinate expertise Socially Complicated Build relationships, create common ground
  11. 11. Third dimension of complicated- complex problems
  12. 12. Systemic stability At least three mechanisms that provide stability to an agricultural system: 1. The rules in the system: Ways of thinking, norms and values, formal laws and regulations, market structures, that guide our actions and perceptions. 2. Strong interactions/mutual dependence between actors. 3. Infrastructure, investments in technology etc. (adapted from Geels, 2004; Klein Woolthuis et al, 2005)
  13. 13. Discussion Given the three dimensions of complex agricultural systems (uncertainty, disagreement, systemic stability): What implications does that in your view have for monitoring and evaluation?
  14. 14. Implications for monitoring and evaluation for interventions in complicated and complex situations  Dynamic indicators, process and proxy indicators  Multi- dimensional indicators  Different methods/ approaches  Process  Flexible proces/planning/ approach
  15. 15. Implications for Design, monitoring and evaluation Simple Complicated Complex Characteris -tics Planable Linear relations Causality Replicable Hardly planable only in hindsight Multi level causality Replicable/best practices, best fit Not planable, also not in hindsight Multi level ‘causality’? No best practices Challenging systemic stability > system innovation M&E methods Logframe + Result Based Management Measurable/ use of indicators Qualitative research Indicators Outcome mapping MSC Reflexive Monitoring in Action Developmental Evaluation
  16. 16. Reflexive Monitoring in Action A short introduction
  17. 17. Reflexivity  Reflect – Looking back and thinking about what happened, what does it mean, how to proceed?  Reflexive- Challenging rules, practices, assumptions, modes of thinking, of ‘others’ and self.
  18. 18. Reflexivity  Video Overview
  19. 19. What is RMA?  Monitoring and evaluation of processes of collective learning for (system) innovation  to keep the focus on long term, ambitious aims (involving institutional change) • by supporting collective learning and change • by stimulating regular reflection on activities, results and the institutional setting
  20. 20. Principles  RMA is more a way of thinking and acting, than the application of tools  RMA is embedded in collective platform activities  Many RMA activities are carried out collectively
  21. 21. RMA as a practice  Iterative and short feedback cycles of observation, analysis of, reflection on collective activities and adjusting these  Every RMA activity is also a targeted intervention to support the learning process Collective activity Obser -vation Analys -is Reflec- tion Adapta tion
  22. 22. RMA as a balancing act  Usually making use of a monitor who seeks balances between:  distance and involvement  appreciative inquiry and critical analysis
  23. 23. Role of the monitor • Keeps asking the basic questions to keep long term system innovation in the basket, to align short term activities with the long term (system) innovation goals • Asks questions about systemic challenges/ opportunities, also those present within the network and its members. • Contributes to keeping ambitions high • And other more regular M&E tasks
  24. 24. Questions till so far?  Any questions till so far?
  25. 25. RMA Tools  Collective system analysis (show)  Causal analysis  Diaries/log books  Learning framework with process and learning indicators (exercise)  Dynamic Learning Agenda (show)  Timeline and Eye-opener workshop (exercise)  Process description  Learning history (audio-visual or in text)
  26. 26. Collective System Analysis
  27. 27. Collective System Analysis: key situation for its use You want to get a picture of the causes of the persistent problems you aim to solve, because these causes are working against a transformation of the sector
  28. 28. Step 1 Prepare: Read about the matrix List actors Prepare main question consumers producers legislators knowledge institutes interest organisations Physical infrastructure Knowledge infrastructure Formal rules and regulation Norms, values and symbols Interaction Market structure Actors and factors that reproduce barriers and opportunities BARRIER 1
  29. 29. Step 2 Let the group make individual inventories of barriers and opportunities On post-its
  30. 30. Step 3 Let participants place their barriers in the matrix. Analyse barriers: Why? Complete? Clusters/ links?
  31. 31. Step 4 Let participants place their opportunities in the matrix Analysis of opportunities: External? Complete? Clusters/ links?
  32. 32. Consumers Producers Regulators Knowledge institutes Interest organisations Infrastructure Hard institutions Soft institutions Strong interaction Weak interaction Capacities Market Step 5 Definition of sustainable product is unclear Lack of knowledge about potential customers No WTP Some studies Project 1 Projects 1 and 3 Discussion and lobby Projects 2a and 2b Project 3 Reflect on link with activities: What to address? Whom to involve? What plans to adapt?
  33. 33. Step 6 Care for the follow-up: Discuss results regularly Do additional exploration Repeat whole process in case of external changes
  34. 34. Example Pest management in maize
  35. 35. Learning and change framework
  36. 36. Key situation for using the learning + change framework and/or stories of change Reflect with network members on the quality of learning and change
  37. 37. Learning + change framework and process indicators Process conditions Platform development Heterogenity Prime movers Sense of urgency Interaction Trust (daring to speak out) Mutual willingness to listen and reflect System approach Ambition to work on systemic stability Activities that are geared towards challenging systemic stability.
  38. 38. Learning and change framework Learning Acting, behaviour, practices Institutional change Individual Organisation Platform System/sector
  39. 39. Step 1 Harvest stories of change: Let all members tell their most significant change story (as a result of the platform/progra mme). What was the change, who changed, when and what triggered/contrib uted to the change?
  40. 40. Step 2 Let the members tell their story of change
  41. 41. Step 3 Others ask informative questions to complete and enrich the story
  42. 42. Step 4 Explain the learning framework Effects New insights/ knowledge Changes of behaviour, practices, action Institutional changes Person Organisation Platform Sector/System Who/convergence of learning, what type of learning, change?
  43. 43. Step 5 Let the members assess their story and place it in the framework. Discuss where most stories are placed and discuss what that means
  44. 44. Step 6 Discuss follow up: • adjust activities • make new agenda • make narrative to share with others • use it for evaluation
  45. 45. Example Learning networks WASH IRC Effects New insights/ knowledge Changes of behaviour, practices, action Institutional changes Person Organisation Network NP BF UG NP BF UG NP BF UG Sector GH HN BF GH HN UG GH HN NP Eureka! We are getting somewhere!
  46. 46. Exercise Learning –change Framework- Harvest of stories of change 1. Form groups (4) 2. 20 min: Each member writes down (for yourself) their most signficant change story: What was in your view the most significant change (one) as a result of your platform till date? Be explicit who changed, what changed, when, and what triggered/ contributed. 3. 30 min: Share with group members your story; others ask informative questions only 4. 10 min: Note some key words on post-it and discuss where to place your story in the framework 5. 15 min: Discuss where most learning takes place & implications + prepare for plenary sharing lessons, experiences with the tool
  47. 47. Useful? Would this tool be helpful in your situation? How? Can you name a situation in which it could be helpful/ not be helpful. Do you see any obstacles, chances to use this tool? What else do you need for applying this tool? How to deal with these needs.
  48. 48. Dynamic Learning Agenda
  49. 49. Dynamic Learning Agenda: Key situation for its use Keeping difficult issues on the agenda
  50. 50. Step 1 Broad inventory of hindrances, struggles and challenges “in people’s own words”
  51. 51. Step 2 QuickTime™ and a TIFF(ongecomprimeerd) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Reformulate challenges into learning questions By facilitator or collectively
  52. 52. Step 3 Use agenda during regular network meetings And adapt the agenda with each meeting
  53. 53. Step 4 Reflect on questions that remain on the agenda
  54. 54. Step 5 Evaluate the progress with the agenda
  55. 55. Example Agromere, urban agriculture
  56. 56. Useful? Would this tool be helpful in your situation? How? Name a situation in which it could be helpful/ not be helpful. Do you see any obstacles, chances to use this tool? What else do you need for applying this tool? How to deal with these needs?
  57. 57. Timeline
  58. 58. Key situation for using the Timeline Reflect with participants on the challenges, successes, learning experiences of a network
  59. 59. Step 1 Collect and examine data to put together a timeline with events/ facts only
  60. 60. Step 2 Hand out the timeline and tell the story in facts. Participants make notes as they listen.
  61. 61. Step 3 Check: Is story correct? Let participants write down their key moments of learning/ change (high and low) in key words on post its
  62. 62. Step 4 Share three key comments/ person. Put post its on timeline. Discuss events with different interpretations. Do you see patterns? Interesting issues?
  63. 63. Step 5 Discuss how the changes/ learning relate to higher goals and discuss follow up: • adjust activities • make new agenda • make narrative to share with others • use it for evaluation
  64. 64. Example Maize network
  65. 65. Self-organised exercise timeline One experience we all share:This workshop 1. Make a timeline with days and sessions as events 2. All participants write down their highs and lows (on learning, insights) on post-its 3. Each participant selects her/his three most important. 4. Hang them in the timeline (highs above, lows below) 5. Discuss differences and implications for future 6. Formulate advice to facilitators (Facilitators will leave the room to give you space) HAVE FUN!
  66. 66. Useful? Would this tool be helpful in your situation? How? Can you name a situation in which it could be helpful/ not be helpful. Do you see any obstacles, chances to use this tool? What else do you need for applying this tool? How to deal with these needs.
  67. 67. Free download & in Dropbox  http://www.wageningenur.nl/nl/show/Reflexive- Monitoring-in-Action.htm

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