This positioning paper is the first in what will be a series of papers, blogs and insights as part of our commitment to understanding innovation and systems change within a te ao Māori paradigm. This paper outlines our rationale for using a DE approach within our overall organisational structure and how we are aligning our core values with our performance and value measurement.
Developmental Evaluation (DE) is an evaluation approach ideally suited to complex or uncertain environments, especially where the focus of the evaluation is to inform social change. It is similarly useful where the solutions to the problems are unknown, previous approaches to the problem unsuccessful, and the landscape of the problem is dynamic and changing. It supports social innovation as its focus is to provide opportunities, insights and learnings, (OIL) to decision-makers as initiatives develop. The use of the acronym also refers to the Kohia – to draw oil (in this sense reflections and insights) nourishes organisational social health. As social change solutions are almost always dynamic, complex and developed over time DE supports this emergent learning approach. Further it enables rapid feedback to inform social change initiatives in a continuous feedback loop process. In its simplest form DE is the fuel for decision-making.
The more evaluators try to play it safe and be value-neutral, the more fuel we give to those peddling toxic misinformation in the post-truth ērā”Jane Davidson (Tweeted by Adriene Field, 17th September 2019)