CECAN will pioneer, test and promote innovative evaluation approaches and methods across nexus problem domains, such as biofuel production or climate change, where food, energy, water and environmental issues intersect.
The 'Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus', a £3m national research centre hosted by the University of Surrey, brings together a unique coalition of experts to address some of the greatest issues in policy making and evaluation.
CECAN understands a major challenge of policy evaluation in complex social settings, is the problem of equifinality. We will respond to the different approaches that may be needed, even for the same problem, with a range of methodological solutions which will be applicable to Nexus topics, and other complex social settings.
CECAN will address the tension between developing evaluation methodologies and ensuring their take up. We are 'challenge-led', testing methodological developments in practice, by scoping complex policy 'case studies' with co-funders, running collaborative evaluation design labs and advising on pilot projects.
CECAN will ensure ongoing interaction with co-funders, policymakers, social scientists and other experts, to form a 'community of practice' across Nexus domains. We will remain responsive to funders' needs and continually challenge ourselves, cross-fertilizing knowledge between Government, the private sector and academia.