News

Joanna Boehnert joins us as a CECAN Fellow

Joanna Boehnert

We are pleased to introduce a new member of the CECAN team! Joanna Boehnert joins us as a CECAN Fellow

CECAN Fellowship: The Visual Representation of Complex Systems: A Typology of Visual Codes for Systemic Relations

Mentors: Alex PennPete Barbrook-JohnsonMartha Bicket                     

This fellowship responds to a CECAN call for proposals on the visual representation of key features of complex systems. The practice-based research project will use systems oriented design and knowledge visualisation approaches to enable the identification, classification and design of visual codes to represent complexity.

Sustainability practitioners have long relied on the use of images to display relationships in complex adaptive systems on various scales and across different domains.

New CECAN Fellowship! Supporting take up of complexity sensitive evaluation approaches and methods for impact in Nexus fields

New fellowship

CECAN has launched a new fellowship opportunity: "Supporting take up of complexity sensitive evaluation approaches and methods for impact in Nexus fields."

Focus: The aim of this fellowship is to examine the factors that contribute to (or inhibit) the adoption of evaluation approaches and methods and consider what steps might be taken to maximise the take up and sustainability of the evaluation methods CECAN is currently developing.

Over the years the field of evaluation has incorporated research methods and approaches from a number of different academic disciplines.

CECAN Seminar: The use of dependency modelling to support evaluation in complex environments - 11th July 2017

UKES Conference

CECAN hosted a seminar at BEIS on 11th July, with Helen Wilkinson of Risk Solutions and Harry Walton of the Environment Agency talking about the use of dependency modelling to support evaluation in complex environments.

In particular the focus was on the work that Risk Solutions and the EA have been doing together on understanding and quantifying the value of flood risk management activities.

The ‘theory of change’ evaluation strategy (described in the Magenta book) was developed to help tackle evaluation of complex multi-level, multi-intervention initiatives. 

Elements of theory of change mapping are now widely used to both plan and evaluate new initiatives. However, the approach has been criticized for being too ‘linear’ to effectively reflect the complexity inherent in many programmes or situations.

COMPLEX-IT and the SACS TOOLKIT: A Case-Based Computational Modeling Platform for Data Mining Complex Issues in Policy and Evaluation

Brian Castellani
 

CECAN hosted a bespoke training course on 7th July "COMPLEX-IT and the SACS TOOLKIT: A Case-Based Computational Modeling Platform for Data Mining Complex Issues in Policy and Evaluation".

The course was run by Professor Brian Castellani of Kent State University and we welcomed a diverse group of people working in social science, government and consultancy domains. It was extremely well received with many people excited about using the tool and helping to progress it further.

CECAN Seminar: Learning lessons from practical policy evaluation: reflecting on a meta-evaluation of UK/EU policy and practice evaluations across the nexus

Evaluation Seminar

CECAN recently held a seminar with Clare Twigger-Ross and Owen White from Collingwood Environmental Planning, which looked at the lessons learned from practical policy evaluation.

Numerous evaluations of natural environment policy and practice are commissioned by the UK and EU government in order to inform, develop and improve. 

Typically these evaluations are dealing with complex “wicked issues” where that which is being evaluated is likely to have impacts that can’t be easily measured within the time frame of the evaluation; difficulty in unpacking causality and to be operating in less than perfect policy cycles.

CEP has been carrying out these types of evaluations over the past decade and as part of the CECAN centre took time to analyse 23 of their evaluations to learn lessons specifically around the evaluation of complexity, the role of methods and the nature of evaluation impact.

This brought out the key factors that affect evaluation progress and enable some understanding of how to navigate an evaluation through dynamic policy landscapes  so as to provide value and insight. 

In this seminar Dr Clare Twigger-Ross and Owen White from CEP pre

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