Sessions A and B were organized as parallel small group workshops. On the basis of presentations the participants discussed case studies (Session A) and recommendations for the future application of systemic approaches in evaluation (Session C). At the Method Market (Session B) the participants walked freely between several market stalls where systemic tools were presented. The main findings of each workshop were presented in the plenary by rapporteurs.
In Session A, various case studies, i.e. evaluations in which systems thinking was applied, were presented. In each workshop, the differences to classical evaluation approaches as well as the added value and shortcomings of systemic approaches were discussed.
The workshops illustrated the heterogeneity of approaches and the lack of a clear definition of systemic approaches. Also, the danger of applying this fashionable label to all kinds of different evaluation types was revealed.
At the Method Market, the audience could "shop" for tools and methods to use in evaluations. Methods that were developed in various disciplines (e.g. psychology, action research) were presented. This session stressed the availability of tools for evaluations that are based on systems thinking.
Session C provided an outlook on the future of systemic approaches in evaluations. Practical issues such as the role of the evaluator, the matching of methods and evaluation questions and different kinds of logic models were discussed. Other workshops looked at challenges, obstacles and critics of systemic approaches in evaluation.
In each workshop, the participants developed recommendations for policy-makers, evaluators and managers of evaluations regarding the possible future application of systemic approaches in evaluations.