The Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus

The Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) has been transforming the practice of policy evaluation across the food, energy, water and environmental domains, to make it fit for a complex world. We have achieved this through pioneering, testing and promoting innovative policy evaluation approaches with UK Government departments.

We are also delivering a technical training programme, CPD courses, specialist workshops, publications, webinars and seminars to demonstrate the challenges of evaluation in real world situations. Our Fellowship Programme has provided opportunities for those from Government and industry to forge useful and lasting connections with researchers and for CECAN’s work to be informed by and linked closely to practical evaluation.

We will continue to refine complex appropriate evaluation methods in the nexus domains and apply them to public health, wellbeing, the local natural environment and enterprise domains in partnership with national, regional and local government, nongovernment funders and the third sector and expand our technical training, workshop, publication and webinar programmes, sharing our specialist knowledge and skills to further develop the capacity of those working on UK policy evaluation.

CECAN Ltd is the commercial arm of  CECAN. It delivers contracted  evaluation research and bespoke training courses. If you would like CECAN Ltd to undertake work for you, please contact


Pluralistic evaluation framework published in Ecological Economics

Last month saw the publication of our paper outlining a new tool for evaluating policies and projects. This tool has been under development since my fellowship with CECAN in 2017-18, and its publication in the journal Ecological Economics is a milestone for our team.

Evaluation as a Pathway to Transformation for a Sustainable Future

In June 2021, the Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 (SRI2021) held a series of online workshops as part of its “Transformations Conference 2021: Enabling Positive Tipping Points”. This post shares the learning from one workshop, “Evaluation as a Pathway to Transformation for a Sustainable Future.”


The Participatory System Mapper, PRSM

CECAN has been developing a new app, called PRSM, which runs in a web browser and which helps groups of people collaboratively develop networks or ‘maps’ of policy and other systems online.


UKES / CECAN Online Masterclass – Process Tracing

Process Tracing is a method used to understand causal chains in single case analysis settings. It is the systematic analysis of contribution claims through explicit investigation of how pieces of evidence support or undermine a particular hypothesis or claim.

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