Complexity-Aware Monitoring Discussion Note (Brief)

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Date Published:
December 18, 2013

PPL's Office of Learning, Evaluation and Research (LER) is pleased to share with you the finalized Discussion Note: Complexity-Aware Monitoring. This paper is intended for those seeking cutting-edge solutions to monitoring complex aspects of strategies and projects. 


We hope this paper will raise questions, stimulate dialogue, and – most of all -- inspire experimentation. Most of the principles and promising approaches provided here have a significant body of theory and practice behind them, but many have not been used to monitor USAID strategies and projects. We have much to learn about whether and how they can be applied successfully in the Agency. For USAID staff who wish to experiment with complexity-aware monitoring, we hope that you will partner with us to build a body of evidence regarding which complexity-aware M&E approaches are most effective in the contexts of USAID programming.    


We look forward to your feedback.  Contact Travis Mayo ( with comments/questions.  We’re also eager to hear from those who plan to use or already are using complexity-aware monitoring and evaluation methods.   


A sincere thank you to all of our colleagues from LER, PPL and across the agency who generously gave their time and expertise in the creation of this Discussion Note.






Travis MayoUSAID
Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning
Office of Learning, Evaluation and Research
t. (202)712.5138