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Scale, Complexity and the Representation of Theories of Change - Part I

Author: Davies, Rick 
Publication Date: 2004 (Evaluation) 

International aid agencies face major problems when attempting to evaluate their achievements. Activities, intended beneficiaries, partner institutions and social contexts are diverse because of their global scale. How can agencies' 'theories of change' be adequately represented in summary forms that respect the complexity and diversity? This article, the first of two, looks at a range of types of change processes and how they can be represented. It starts with linear processes, traditionally represented via the Logical Framework, and ends with network processes. The solutions proposed are informed by three related cross-disciplinary theoretical perspectives: evolutionary theory; complex adaptive systems; and social network analysis.

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