CECAN Seminar: The use of dependency modelling to support evaluation in complex environments - 11th July 2017

CECAN Seminar Environment AgencyCECAN Seminar:  The use of dependency modelling to support evaluation in complex environments – a case study application. Understanding and quantifying the value of flood risk management activities

11th July 2017, BEIS, 1 Victoria St, London 12.45-2pm

Harry Walton, Economist the Environment Agency, and Helen Wilkinson, Director, Risk Solutions

The ‘theory of change’ evaluation strategy (described in the Magenta book) was developed to help tackle evaluation of complex multi-level, multi-intervention initiatives. 

Elements of theory of change mapping are now widely used to both plan and evaluate new initiatives. However, the approach has been criticized for being too ‘linear’ to effectively reflect the complexity inherent in many programmes or situations.  

Dependency modelling provides one way of meeting this challenge.

Risk Solutions worked with the Environment Agency to develop and quantify a dependency model to evaluate the contribution of the different types of flood risk management activity the Environment Agency engage in on the achievement of outcomes. 

As well as providing, for the first time, a clear comparison of the value of ‘softer’ activities (such as stakeholder engagement around community resilience) with capital investment in flood defences, the model enabled the Environment Agency to demonstrate the potential impact of changes in activities on flood risk outcomes. 

The work therefore effectively bridged the gap between evaluation and the strategic planning of activities in complex, changing environments.  Its greatest value lay in the deeper understanding of how the FCRM system works that was generated by undertaking the analysis, rather than in the results themselves.

In this seminar Dr Helen Wilkinson (Risk Solutions) and Harry Walton (Environment Agency) will describe the construction of the model and its use to support evaluation.  They will describe the strengths and weaknesses of the approach, and facilitate discussion of how the approach could deliver value in other applications. 

The seminar is aimed at those involved in policy evaluation, specifically with respect to the natural environment, including consultants, academics, policy analysts and policy makers.

You can find out more about Risk Solutions on their web-site: www.risksol.co.uk.

To register please visit our Eventbrite page.

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Contact: cecan@surrey.ac.uk

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