July 2009 saw the sixth in a rolling series of meetings focusing on the value of complexity theory in international development and humanitarian work. The meeting was hosted by Panos and focused on Evaluation practices in the aid sector, and how they need to be improved in the face of complexity. Participants included development practitioners, academics, donors, consultants and NGO representatives.
As the Meeting Report notes: “Development and aid are influenced by a range of interacting factors in constantly changing social contexts which can lead to unpredictable outcomes. Concepts and approaches from complexity theory may be useful for developing appropriate evaluation approaches that will enhance real-time learning and responsive working… This day was anchored in six case studies of evaluation approaches which have drawn on concepts from complexity theory. Discussion considered the potential for, and challenges of, working with complexity theory for more effective development practice.”