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Date and time: Wednesday 5th February 2020 12:30 - 1.30pm
Topic: Applying Systems Evaluation Theory (SET)
Presenter: Dr Lewe Atkinson, Haines Centre for Strategic Management Limited
Venue: Community room at the Brisbane Square Library, 266 George St, Brisbane (Ground floor)
Register online by: 30 January 2020

This is a free seminar organised by the QLD Regional Network Committee of the AES. Our monthly seminar series provides an opportunity for you to meet with AES members and others in Queensland and to share and learn from the experiences of fellow evaluators. Members are encouraged to bring along colleagues with an interest in the topic even if they are not yet members of the AES. Please forward onto your networks.

Seminar overview

Systems Evaluation Theory (SET) has been developed because of a frustration with logic models in evaluation being linear, isolated and removed from context. SET is advanced as a model that is closer to the true workings of a program. SET looks at a program as a series of systems (rather than a linear cause and effect process) and develops an understanding of the various interactions. Using SET, an evaluation also develops an understanding of the influence of the surrounding environment. These notions have been further described in a recent paper in the EJA - The connection between logic models and systems thinking concepts June 2019:

SET incorporates all the principles of effective use of systems thinking in evaluation, released at the end of 2018 by the American Evaluation Society:

Case studies will illustrate the benefits of using the systems thinking concepts of elements, relationships & boundaries to guide adaptation to emergent and dynamic realities in complex environments. This study will also show the important link between effectiveness and efficiency, a concept often completely overlooked using program logic. This link is explored through:

  1. Achieving, maintaining and streamlining standard operating procedures
  2. The use of system feedback loops
  3. Reworks and reflex arcs
  4. Subsystem interactions

Presenter background

Architect of strategic and social transformation blessed with the super-powers of systems thinking. Lewis is a unique innovation professional. He has a solid technical and financial grounding which, combined with his systems thinking super-powers, enables him to see patterns, pathways, and solutions that others don’t. His optimistic bias means he is willing to make the most of limited resources. Lewis’s learning journey has yielded many practical commercial outcomes and that’s the way he likes it. You won’t find another like him.


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