Complexity Matters: Aligning the Monitoring and Evaluation of Social and Behavior Change with the Realities of Implementation

In by Lisa Hilmi

CORE Group



This Call to Action was drafted following the Fall 2015 CORE Group workshop entitled “Behavior Change in the Age of Complexity” and subsequently presented at the International SBCC Summit 2016 and the Spring 2016 CORE Group Meeting. Feedback from audiences at these events has been incorporated into this version of the Call.

The aim of this Call to Action is to:

  • Advocate for the support of M&E of SBC interventions that capture the unpredictability of the change process and reflect the realities of project implementation.
  • Show that proven M&E methods that are appropriately adaptive in response to emergent needs and opportunities can help monitor complexity.
  • Argue that M&E methods that do not address the complexity of both behavior and of program implementation can distort our understanding of SBC
  • Support the claim that data gathered through community feedback and iteration not only can accelerate individual behavior change, but can propel social change.
  • Champion the use of participatory, narrative, mixed methods and learning-based approaches that align with what we know about the context and complexity of SBC program implementation.