IMPACT Europe team presents at the annual UKES conference in London

RAND Europe researchers Dr Jeremy Lonsdale and Joanna Hofman moderated a session on Measuring impact and evaluating performance in complex settings at the annual conference of the UK Evaluation Society (UKES), also presenting some of IMPACT Europe’s latest findings and outputs. The conference, which took place in London on 14 May 2015, invited evaluation researchers from across the globe to explore the influence of evaluations on programme and policy development. Moreover, conference attendants sought to identify innovative methodologies and alternative approaches to impact evaluation.

IMPACT Europe was presented as an example of the way in which various dimensions of complexity affect evaluation practices. Specifically, Joanna Hofman discussed the nature of radicalisation processes, factors leading to violent radical behaviour, and the highly dynamic nature of counter violent radicalisation work. In this context, she also highlighted the various pressures actors engaged in countering violent radicalisation regularly encounter and the way in which these pressures limit opportunities to fully capitalise on the feedback loop created by evaluation. Joanna Hofman also presented a range of specific interventions aimed at tackling violent radicalisation, explaining how such interventions were often not explicit or unclear in defining the meaning of ‘success’ and possible strategies that might lead to success.

The presentation was well received by session participants and sparked lively discussions, which revolved around differences between complex and complicated issues, gradual development of evaluation capacities, and evaluators’ (growing) ability to tackle more challenging problems.