Professional Development

Professional Development Opportunity: Drawing on Complexity to do Hands-on Evaluation

“Complexity” is a rapidly expanding frontier in evaluation. This expansion results from dissatisfaction with the ability of programs to improve the social condition, and with the limitations of our program theories and methodologies to predict or explain program behavior.

But what does “complexity” offer to those of us who design evaluations, interpret data, and try to help stakeholders? What can we apply instrumentally? What can we apply metaphorically?

Workshop process:
■ Lectures
■ Group exercises
■ 1:1 consultation

■ Definitions of complexity
■ Explanation and causation
■ Implications for stakeholders
■ Intellectual roots of complexity
■ Common myths about complexity
■ Incremental and phase shift change
■ Program success in terms of Impact
distribution and scaling
■ Consequences for program theory,
methodology, and measurement

Jonathan A. Morell PhD (Jonny) has extensive experience in a wide range of evaluation settings. He believes that evaluation should respect the complexity of programs and outcomes, but that evaluations should be as simple and straightforward as possible. His views are set out in his book: Evaluation in the Face of Uncertainty: Anticipating Surprise and Responding to the Inevitable, in his other publications, and in his blog Jonny is Director of Evaluation at Syntek Technologies, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Evaluation and Program Planning, and a Principal at 4.669 Evaluation and Planning, LLC. His professional history is at

DATE: Friday, June 3rd 2016
TIME: 9:00-4:00
LOCATION: Chocolate Lake Hotel 20 St.
Margaret’s Bay Road, Halifax NS
QUESTIONS: KATHERINE – [email protected]

Thanks to all who attended the session! The slides are available here: CES Complexity Workshop