A central argument for pursuing systemic evaluation is that traditional evaluation methods and tools, such as simple logic models, are inadequate at capturing the contextual complexity in which programs operate. This has led some evaluators to suggest abandoning logic models. However, systemic evaluation is not without its limitations. The effort to capture complexity, or the truth, is challenging and has led systemic evaluators to recognize their approaches can be amorphous and ambiguous. One consequence of this reality is the undermining of evaluation capacity building. The presentation will show how traditional methods like simple logic models and logic models grounded in situational awareness can be an ally in bridging the knowledge and methods gap between traditional and systemic approaches.
In the mid 1980ies a working group on systemic approaches in development cooperation was established at SDC. In the late 1980ies SDC developed a handbook for systemic evaluations in the livestock sector, and KEK-CDC was involved in a few case study applications. During the 1990 impact assessments were tested applying systemic approaches by SDC in Nepal. The presentation will elaborate why a systemic approach is not sufficient, what their major limitations are in capturing complex programme and policy effects and why the potential for scaling up of insights and lessons learnt is still limited.