A Pragmatic Approach to Assessing System Change

Few topics create as much confusion and debate as system change, and many programs feel stuck when it comes to assessing it. The field has struggled to agree on an approach that programs can implement and stakeholders can understand. Consequently, practice varies widely and many are frustrated or confused.

The problems development practitioners are trying to address occur because of how systems work. Tackling those problems in a lasting and significant way requires helping systems to become more effective, inclusive, and resilient. System change is a change to how a system works and to what happens as a result. Planning for and assessing system change is, therefore, a strategic management issue, critical for everything from developing a strategy and designing interventions, to adapting strategies, improving implementation and reporting impact.

Two case examples are used for illustration throughout this publication: ‘Skills for Jobs’ work in the VET system in Albania and PRISMA’s work in the maize system in East Java, Indonesia. While the cases are based on real programs, they have been significantly modified for learning purposes and do not represent the current situation of the programs, partners, and interventions.

Read here the full publication: A Pragmatic Approach to Assessing System Change