The integrated monitoring, evaluation, and planning (IMEP) team of the CCRP will have a case study published in the journal New Directions for Evaluation in 2021. Featuring CCRP work, the chapter, “Applying a Systems and Complexity Lens to Building Evaluation Capacity: Learning from a Multi-Country Donor’s Experience,” was written by KaYing Vang, Marah Moore, and Claire Nicklin and will appear in a special issue focused on systems thinking and complexity science. Other chapters were written by colleagues at the Global Alliance, a CCRP partner and grant recipient.
The IMEP team’s chapter explores a little-examined junction between systems thinking and complexity science (STCS) and evaluation capacity building, the latter more commonly considered evaluation capacity “strengthening” in the CCRP. The rich CCRP case illustrates the team’s ideas because it intentionally incorporates elements of STCS and evaluation capacity building into its evaluation approach. Unlike more traditional evaluation approaches with hierarchical and siloed staffing, the CCRP approach distributes learning and responsibility around evaluation across the system. The retrospective piece reflects on how STCS allowed evaluation capacity building to be adaptive to different contexts and attention to be given to emergent situations presenting new opportunities or requiring new approaches. Over time, individuals more proactively integrated STCS concepts or philosophies into their language. Evaluation followed a similar trajectory, as the two were intertwined. The chapter unpacks the changes seen in the CCRP using the lens of core STCS concepts and evaluation capacity building.