DE Guiding Principles: Systems Thinking

Thinks systemically throughout, understanding interrelationships, engaging with contrasting perspectives, and reflecting ethically on boundaries of the social system that the innovation and evaluation are being developed within.

Developmental Evaluation explores sources of:

  • motivations and values built into our views of situations and efforts to improve them.

  • legitimacy, i.e., the moral basis on which we expect people or the environment to bear the consequences of what we do or fail to do.

  • control, addressing power structures influencing what is considered to be the problem and what might be done about it.

  • knowledge and the knowledge basis defining what counts as relevant.

Questions to ask ourselves:

  • Where does the sense of purposefulness and value come from in the situation?

  • Where does control / authority for the situation rest? Where should it be coming from?

  • What experiences and expertise are considered relevant and credible?

  • What experience and expertise ought to be at the table?

  • Whose interests are being served legitimately?

  • Whose interests ought to be served legitimately?

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