Creative Consulting & Development Works

We are a research, evaluation and communications consultancy, servicing nonprofits, governments and donors with innovative solutions within the development context.

Applied MERL Training

The nature of development projects and programs are changing rapidly. Large-scale, topdown projects driven by large institutions are no longer the only game in town. New fusions, such as social innovation, are emerging as a direct response to the increasing complexity presented by wicked problems.

Our standard MERL tools are rather blunt instruments in this context. The ability of our “trade” to remain relevant depends on whether practitioners can invent new ways of working based on a new way of understanding of how the world works.

This course challenges evaluators and MERL practitioners to personally engage and grapple with the emerging science of complexity and systems thinking. It requires nothing less than a full assessment of one’s own worldview, seen through the lens of this relatively new scientific “truth” about what the world is and how it functions. Novel methodologies can only be developed once we’ve revised our basic assumptions about the nature of reality.

Our instruments for measuring “what has happened” in the past will always depend on our current beliefs about “what is going on”. This course unearths some of our common MERL assumptions, their origins and implication for MERL practice in the context of traditional development programs. A fresh set of assumptions are presented, in line with the science of complexity and systems thinking, specifically with reference to the growing social innovation movement worldwide which is challenging many treasured norms of the traditional development paradigm.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

Who should do this course? Evaluation practitioners, donors and grants-managers, project – and program managers, social innovators.

Requirements: Participants need some awareness of and experience with traditional MERL approaches and methodologies. This course has a strong link with the “engaging with complex problems” course, and can almost be seen as an extension of it.

Read about some of our past training courses featured on BizCommunity | NGO Pulse.

Contact us on training@developmentworks.co.za today to find out more about this course.