Basics

Data To Knowledge To Action

In general, working in complexity means the cause-and-effect relationships of a project’s actions are unclear, or the operating environment is constantly changing. If stakeholders disagree about the best way to solve a problem, chances are good that the team is working in complexity.

So, how can you monitor in these unpredictable situations?  

Many traditional monitoring approaches measure the predicted—using indicators expected to provide useful information over the life of the project. Complexity-Aware Monitoring is intended to complement performance monitoring by tracking the unpredictable.  

The resources to the right will give you a firm grounding in the basics of complexity-aware monitoring:

  • Read the Discussion Note on Complexity-Aware Monitoring to get started on the right foot (and to return to in the future!)
  • View the Screencast on Complexity-Aware Monitoring, presented by USAID’s Complexity-Aware M&E team members Melissa and Heather, which gives an excellent overview.
  • Download the PowerPoint slides from Melissa and Heather’s Screencast for future reference.

Once you’ve covered the basics, delve deeper into principles and approaches.