Senior Fellow, Economics, Justice, and Society Department, NORC
President, 4.669… Evaluation and Planning
Development Along Two Directions
We are looking for suggestions about content and authors for posts on:
- research and theory in complexity and systems, and
- application to evaluation.Posts should be short and focused.
This tactic may not fit the spirit of “systems”, but it will educate and not overwhelm.
Please contact us if you have ideas to share.
To convey a sense of what we have in mind, here is an example.
Jonny’s Example based on Accident Investigation
Consider accident investigation and its relationship to path dependence. It is possible to trace causation in retrospect and to use that knowledge to minimize the likelihood that a class of accidents will reoccur. One would be foolish ignore these analyses. But precisely what accidents will be affected by the change? Unknown and largely unknowable. Is there any certainty that other causal paths won’t lead to the same type of accidents? No certainty at all.
I’d write between three and six paragraphs. There would be references but no deep explanation. I’d present the principles in a few sentences and give an example of how an evaluation would differ if I did or did not take path dependence seriously.