Evaluation: the International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice vol:20 issue:4 pages:447-466
This article reports on the results of a collaborative action research project (2010–12) in which 10 development organizations (nine Dutch and one Belgian), together with their southern partners, explored different actor-focused Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME)approaches with the aim of dealing more effectively with complex processes of social change. A major challenge that organizations were trying to address during this action research pertained
to the demonstration of observable results in complex contexts where such results are not always easy to measure or to quantify and where causal links between cause and effect cannot always be predicted. Drawing from recent literature, the article presents an analytic framework
to assess the effectiveness of a PME approach in dealing with complex social change. This framework is then used to explore how actor-focused PME approaches can help international development programmes to manage complex processes of social change by stimulating processes of real-time results-based learning.