Learning, Systems Concepts and Values in Evaluation: Proposal for an Exploratory Framework to Improve Coherence

Volume 46 Number 1
Published: January 19, 2015
The three core systems concepts – interrelationships, perspectives and boundaries – can be used for framing an impact evaluation (see Williams, this IDS Bulletin). But their use also has implications for the type of learning that an impact evaluation is likely to generate. Moreover, they can help to make the value base of evaluations more explicit. This article first outlines a typology for learning and elaborates on the implications for evaluation and the use of systems concepts. Then a similar typology for values is presented, together with their likely correspondence with learning types. These three aspects are usually dealt with separately in evaluation assignments, although they should be viewed together, as they mutually influence each other or can be seen as complementary. To this end a conceptual framework is proposed which permits to explore and reflect on the connections between the three systems concepts with learning and values.


  • Impact
  • Evaluation
From Issue: Vol. 46 No. 1 (2015) | Towards Systemic Approaches to Evaluation and Impact