About us:

We are a learning community of practitioners, academics, and students working from a variety of sectors to collectively learn from each other’s experiences and build a knowledge base together to inform and further complexity-aware, systemic and adaptive approaches to planning, project/program management and evaluation. Membership is open to anyone willing to learn, contribute, or share their experiences about how and when these approaches are beneficial; can complement traditional approaches; what methodology and tools are useful; and consequently build knowledge together to inform praxis.

Why we exist:

There has been a growing awareness of the inability of traditional program and evaluation designs to adequately deal with the complexity of many operational contexts. The need for complexity-aware and adaptive designs and practices is now recognized, however, there is limited experience and expertise in the development and implementation of such approaches. Many organizations, universities, and donors are beginning to experiment with adaptive approaches and are gaining valuable experience, but most are operating in isolation and are not benefiting from the collective learning experience which a community of practice can offer to advance and further build knowledge in a domain of interest. The Complexity&Praxis community aims to link researchers and practitioners engaged in activities related to understanding better the situations and circumstances which require adaptive approaches, developing the adaptive frameworks, methods and tools, and testing them in different contexts. Community members will benefit from the collective learning experience and can contribute to advancing and further building knowledge in adaptive and complexity-aware praxis in project management and evaluation. The boundaries of this area of practice are undefined, but they encompass a wide variety of possible approaches including systems thinking, design thinking, adaptive learning, and lean and agile management that all share a common focus on learning and experimentation.

Events

Complexity&Praxis organized its first event on June 16th, introducing members to the community of practice and mapping the landscape of adaptive practice in DC. Over 20 organizations ranging from social enterprises, non-profits, private sector and public sector agencies were represented. Learn more about this interactive workshop here

How to get involved:

As a member of Complexity&Praxis, you are welcome to start discussion threads on sub-topics of interest or join existing discussions that are of interest to you. We also encourage members to network and collaborate with one another on projects that incorporate systems thinking and complexity-aware approaches. For example, if you have an interest in conducting research into how systems thinking approaches relate to various fields, this community can help you to find others with similar interests to collaborate on a research initiative.