Home » Newsletters » October 2012

Learning for sustainability (LfS) site update (October 2012)

Planning and evaluation tools: theory of change, logic and outcomes modeling, and indicators

The Learning for Sustainability site - http://learningforsustainability.net - brings together resources that help address the social and capacity building aspects of managing collective interests within complex and adapting systems. The site highlights the wide range of social skills and processes that are needed to support constructive collaboration, and indicates how these skills and processes can be interwoven to achieve more integrated and effective outcomes. This site brings links to several hundred annotated on-line resources from different sectors and geographic areas together in one easy to access site. This portal site has been updated on an ongoing basis over the past few months. This newsletter provides a brief introduction to new resources that have been added. In particular the planning and evaluation section now has pages on each of theory of change, logic and outcomes modeling, and indicator development. In the reading section links are provided to some just released reports on theory of change, and to some recent papers reviewing lessons from a ten-year research project looking at integrated catchment management (ICM).

Site structure and new material

The new 'Planning and Evaluation' section reflects that these components are inextricably linked within effective and learning-based adaptive management. The plan is effectively a "route-map" from the present to the future. To plan a suitable route you must know where you are (situation analysis) and where you want to go (establish goals and identify outcomes). Only then can appropriate action plans be developed to help achieve the desired future.However, because the future is uncertain, our action plans must be adaptive and allow continually for "learning by doing". To do this we need appropriate evaluation tools and processes, and information flows that help the different stakeholders involved check that their efforts are proceeding as planned, and to refine and guide their responses if changes are needed. Within this section a number of links are provided to each of the following topics.

Interesting research papers and reports

The featured links for this issue are drawn from some of the new links added recently. As the pages in this portal shows there is a lot of really good material available - so this newsletter section is is by no means intended as an award-type list, it just lists some recent additions that are good sites to share. The first links here take you directly to LFS content pages for that topic.

The New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research has recently published a special issue on Integrated Catchment Management. This issue features the result of a place-based, 10-year, cross-disciplinary and inter-agency research programme focused on the Motueka River catchment and Tasman Bay in New Zealand. An integrated approach was taken, recognising that land, water and social systems are interlinked. The programme brought together research on biophysical (water, sediment, nutrient and contaminant fluxes and aquatic organisms), economic and social sciences alongside research on social processes (social learning, community engagement, Maori values, policy relevance), across land and water (including coastal waters).

Thoughts for the day

Sharing, feedback, subscribing and unsubscribing

Please forward this site to interested colleagues. Feedback is welcomed, and visitors are encouraged to suggest sites to add. Thanks to those of you who have pointed to papers and other material for inclusion, and sharing among the wider global community of practice in this area. During 2011 the site averaged around 750 visitors each day, with the highest number of visits in any one day being in excess of 1500.

Newsletter postings advise of major changes and additions to this site, and will be sent out as an LfS site update e-mail to those of you who wish every couple of months. These postings will indicate the major changes on the site during that time. Each posting will also include links to 5-6 feature articles, so it is a good way to gain an overview of material in this area which cuts across the health, environment and development sectors. Just click here to add your name to this list through the newsletter update subscription page. If you have received this newsletter electronically and you wish to unsubscribe you can also do this from the unsubscribe link at the bottom. If all else fails just contact me directly through the contact email form page, or use the e-mail link provided in the footer of this page.

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Will Allen
This site is researched, written & maintained by Dr Will Allen.

Site update Managing collaborations - outcomes, action research and evaluation Read more >>

Action research blog post - evaluating and learning from collaborative initiatives Read more >>

Outcomes posting Managing for outcomes - a 4-part blog series Read more >>

Complicated or complex Management implications: operating in complex adaptive systems Read more >>

Theory of change Links to latest reports