Skip to main content

Systems Thinking and Systems Evaluation Theory: Practice and Implementation - previously recorded eStudy 118

Presenters: Ralph Renger, PhD, MEP and Jessica Renger, MA

In recent years there has been increased attention given to the necessity of integrating systems thinking into evaluation practice. Patton argues that developing system thinking skills is a top 2 priority area for evaluators to meet emerging client expectations. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for evaluators who understand systems thinking principles and who can respond to the complex and dynamic environment in which many programs are situated has been made more salient. However, the number of evaluators who can translate systems thinking principles into real world practice is in short supply. One reason for this is that much of the system thinking research and theory is abstract, presenting a barrier to those wishing to apply systems thinking principles. This workshop will simplify systems thinking principles for participants by drawing on a series of published work surrounding Systems Evaluation Theory culminating in the most recent publication recognized for the best practice article in 2020 by the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation (Renger, 2015; Renger, 2016; Renger et al., 2017; Renger et al., 2019; Renger et al., in press; Renger et al., 2020) and through the provision of concrete case exemplars. After the workshop, participants will be able to recognize and respond to systems issues in evaluation practice and have access to a practical systems thinking toolkit they can draw upon to feel more confident and capable in their future evaluation endeavors.

This workshop is aligned to AEA’s Competencies and Guiding Principals as follows:
Through the discussion of systems thinking and the provision of SET as a practical methodological toolkit to evaluate systems, this workshop is in alignment with the systematic inquiry and competency guiding principles, as well as the methodology competency domain. Additionally, since systems thinking and SET is designed to address issues of complexity and context, the workshop is also intended to build and advance evaluators abilities in the context competency domain.

Who Should Attend?
This workshop is geared towards evaluators looking to build their system thinking skills and learn how to apply key systems thinking principles to evaluate systems. Due to the practical nature of this workshop, evaluation practitioners would benefit the most from participation.

Facilitation Experience:
The lead facilitator has extensive expertise presenting systems thinking workshops for a number of state agencies, health care organizations as well as professional evaluation societies. The lead facilitator conducted a Systems Evaluation Theory workshop for the 2020 Australian Evaluation Society Conference, and both facilitators co-led a System thinking workshop for the 2019 American Evaluation Association Conference. During the 2019 American Evaluation conference workshop, participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive regarding the usefulness and practicality of the Systems Evaluation approach.

April 6th, 2022 12:00 - 1:30 PM ET
April 13th, 2022 12:00 - 1:30 PM ET
April 20th, 2022 12:00 - 1:30 PM ET
April 27th, 2022 12:00 - 1:30 PM ET

Once you purchase the eStudy you must register for each session. Recordings will be made available to registrants unable to attend sessions live. Recordings will be made available to all registrants for 90 days.