CECAN Webinar - Mapping the Cognitive Landscape of Productivity in Northern Ireland: A Systems Approach to Understanding Productivity Policy

Jen Nelles Webinar

On 12th February 2020, Jen Nelles, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), University of Sheffield Management School, Productivity Insights Network (PIN), hosted our CECAN Webinar: 'Mapping the Cognitive Landscape of Productivity in Northern Ireland: A Systems Approach to Understanding Productivity Policy'. 


CECAN delivers complexity-appropriate evaluation training for PHE London

PHE Training

On 9th January 2020, Dione Hills (Tavistock Institute) and Pete Barbrook-Johnson (University of Surrey) delivered training on how to conduct evaluations in complex settings to a mixed group of practitioners and policy teams working on public health issues in London. The session was organised by the London office of Public Health England, and will be followed by bespoke sessions in which CECAN will further support specific team’s evaluation efforts in the complex public health policy areas in which they work.

CECAN and Mott McDonald run first workshop as part of Defra Water Systems research project

Cumbria Workshop


Alex Penn and Pete Barbrook-Johnson (CECAN Senior Research Fellows based at University of Surrey) and colleagues from Mott McDonald ran the first of three Participatory Systems Mapping workshops in the Eden river catchment in Cumbria on 15th January 2020.

The session brought together a mix of different stakeholders in the area, to build a rich understanding of the complex water and environment issues in the catchment. It is part of a wider project funded by Defra to explore how a whole systems and complexity approach can be valuable when working at the river catchment scale.

Cumbria Workshop


Dealing with Complexity in Policy Evaluation: BEIS/CECAN Briefing and Workshop

CECAN / BEIS Workshop


On 4th October 2019, CECAN held a briefing and workshop session with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on dealing with complexity in policy evaluation. Held at the BEIS conference centre in central London, the session was well attended by over 20 BEIS policy-makers and analysts.

Chaired by CECAN Deputy Director, Ben Shaw, the briefing session was opened with a presentation from Dione Hills (Tavistock Institute/CECAN) and Helen Wilkinson (Risk Solutions/CECAN) providing an overview of the principles of complexity and their important implications for delivery of effective policy evaluation and analysis. This included a taster of some of the issues included in the forthcoming Annex on complexity to the revised Magenta Book – the Government’s guidance on evaluation.

CECAN Webinar: Demi-Regs and the Characteristics of Realist Evaluation

Justin Jagosh Webinar


On 5th December 2019, Justin Jagosh, Director of the Centre for Advancement in Realist Evaluation and Synthesis (CARES), hosted our CECAN Webinar: 'Demi-Regs and the Characteristics of Realist Evaluation'. 

A demi-regularity, also known as a demi-reg, is a semi-predictable outcome pattern. The demi-reg concept has relevance to fundamental principles in realist evaluation (Pawson and Tilley, 1997) including the context-mechanism-outcome (CMO) configuration and middle-range theorizing.

Attended by around 50 participants, the webinar examined the demi-reg concept using source material and illustrated using examples. Although the use of the concept is not a pre-requisite for conducting a realist evaluation, it has significant value for understanding and engaging with the analytical characteristics of a realist methodological process.

Innovative Partnerships: A Review of Innovative Public-Private Partnerships in Food-Energy-Water-Environment Domains in the UK

Innovative Partnerships


Pete Barbrook-Johnson, a UKRI Innovation Fellow hosted by CECAN, has published the first report from his 3-year fellowship. The report reviews innovative public-private partnerships working in the UK on food-energy-water- environment ‘nexus’ domains. It can be found at