Tina Turner is well known for delivering the powerful song What’s Love Got to Do With it? That song was rolling around in my head after a recent webinar call with John Kania about the launch of the Collective Change Lab.Read More
From time to time, the Tamarack Institute is contacted to be a key informant in different studies. Last Fall, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and its partners were interested in understanding how capacity building could improve sustainability and outcomes for the California Landscape Stewardship Network.Read More
The video System Thinking and Evaluation, by Kylie Hutchinson, Chris Lovato and Bev Parsons is an excellent introduction to evaluating systems change. It describes how an evaluation of a hypothetical initiative to improve nutrition in a community must both ‘zoom in’ to explore the programmatic effects of the effort (e.g., improved health of program participants) and ‘zoom out’ to assess influence and change on factors in the larger systems that affect their individual health (e.g., urban design which affects levels of physical activity, the quality of industrial food production, the culture of portion sizes). The video also reminds us that deep and durable progress on complex issues depends on our ability to reshape the deeper systems that contribute to those problems in the first place.
One of my roles as ‘curator’ of the Tamarack Institute’s Evaluating Community Impact work is to track and share ideas and methodologies that community changemakers might find useful in their work.
Over the next six months, I will focus on evaluating systems change and social change. Innovators all over the world are focused on reforming or transforming systems, whether they be related to energy, child protection, ecological education, economic, social systems, or (more likely) a mix of all them.Read More
Systems change work is about understanding all of the actors in the system and the dynamic flow of power, relationships, and mindsets that exists between them. John Kania, Mark Kramer and Peter Senge, in their recently released paper, The Water of System Change use the metaphor of water to describe systems. The water is the environment through which fish and other life exists but it is also a flowing, moving and changing entity.Read More