CECAN Webinar: Theory of Change – Getting the most out of it - Insights from a Practitioner

Theory of Change Webinar


On 2nd July 2019, Bridget Dillon, Head of Evaluation Profession, Department for International Development, UK Government (DFID) presented a CECAN webinar on Theory of Change. Attended by over 90 participants, the webinar focused on the behavioural model of Theory of Change, and provided suggestions for participants to take away and use in their own work.

If you were unable to join the webinar, you can watch/listen to the session via our YouTube channel below. We are also pleased to be able to share a PDF version of the PowerPoint slides, please click here to view. 



CECAN Workshop: Commissioning Complex Evaluations

Commissioning Complex Evaluations


On 29th April 2019, the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) hosted the Commissioning Complex Evaluations workshop at Prince Philip House, London. 


The event brought together policy analysts from government departments who have to commission the evaluation of complex policies and contractors who have experience of bidding against Invitations to Tender for policy evaluation. Attended by 47 delegates, the workshop provided the opportunity to share experience on procuring complexity-appropriate methods and how to overcome some of the rigidities in tender processes; pinpoint barriers to complexity appropriate methods in competitive tendering processes; and develop immediately applicable suggestions and solutions.


We are pleased to be able to share presentations from the workshop, which can be viewed using the links below.


What’s stopping us? Commissioner and contractor perspectives on complexity approaches in evaluation:


Evaluative Thinking in Complexity Research

Evaluative Thinking in Complexity Research


By Dione Hills, 8th March 2019

The field of complexity related research is growing apace, and CECAN has been at the forefront of exploring how research methods from this field can be incorporated into evaluation practice (given sufficient resources, expertise and willingness on the part of evaluation funders!). However, what has not yet been explored in depth, is the question of how evaluation differs from other kinds of research, and what implications, if any, this has for the adoption of complex appropriate research methods within an evaluation context.

CECAN Webinar - Risk Analysis at the Food Standards Agency post EU-Exit: The role of economics and social science in informing risk management

Dione Hills & Helen Wilkinson Webinar


On 6th February, Vanna Aldin (Head of Analytics and Chief Economist at the Food Standards Agency) kindly presented a CECAN Webinar on 'Risk Analysis at the Food Standards Agency post EU-Exit: The role of economics and social science in informing risk management'.

The webinar highlighted the central role of economics and social sciences in informing “the other legitimate factors” – which is the internationally accepted terminology for issues other than risk related to human health- risk managers will consider alongside the risk assessment to develop, analyse and identify risk management recommendations.

If you were unable to join the webinar, you can watch/listen to the session via our YouTube channel below.

Additionally, please note, the FSA is looking to expand their Register of Specialists, who they may use to commission short pieces of ad hoc science and technical work under contract. Further information and application forms are available here.


Complexity Evaluation Framework



30th January 2019

CECAN Ltd is pleased to be working with Defra to develop a Complexity Evaluation Framework that will equip Defra commissioners of evaluation with a checklist of core considerations to ensure that policy evaluations sufficiently consider the implications of complexity theory. A long-term CECAN partner, Defra is one of a number of organisations that has collaborated with CECAN Ltd to give further consideration to embedding complexity thinking into evaluation. Defra is seeking to ensure that evaluations adequately account for uncertain contexts, behaviours, intersectionalities and adaptions which may affect implementation of policies across its remit (which includes the environment, food, farming, fishing and rural affairs). The Complexity Evaluation Framework will provide an actionable toolkit for evaluation commissioners to deliver insights. This will lead to evaluations that both demonstrate the impact and value for money of new policies and also enable rapid feedback to allow for adaptive implementation of policy in changing and uncertain contexts.