Judy, Kate and Nan were delighted to be part of a group of 17 evaluators invited to be part of a two-day Systems retreat/workshop, facilitated by Bob Williams. The retreat provided a wonderful opportunity to meet new and old colleagues and to share and discuss systems thinking and methods in evaluation.
Over the two days there was an introduction to systems thinking and much of our discussion focused on three core concepts of systems thinking – perspectives, interrelationships and boundaries. We also got to have a go at applying three types of systems methods – rich pictures, influence maps and stakeholder analysis as well as using the group as a sounding board to discuss a possible Masters of Evaluation at Massey University.
Inspired by the collegiality and learning we made plans for our next foray into the systems field – a one day workshop on Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH). Our thanks to Bob Williams for initiating and facilitating the two-day retreat.
Bob William’s website is a great place to find out more about the use of systems concepts in evaluation.
Judy Oakden presented on rich pictures at the 2014 AEA conference.
See also Adrian Field’s (Dovetail) reflections from the retreat on the use of rich pictures.