Discussion #1 – 2/1/11

2011 EEN Advisory Group Discussion #1

From the Advisory Group meeting Tuesday, February 1, 2011.

This section is organized with “toggle boxes” that contain all the information from the meeting. Click on the headline beside the blue carrot to read more information about that section. Click all the header links to view everything at once.

Below the “toggle boxes” are links to download the resource materials related to February 1st’s Advisory Group meeting.

Once you have read and reviewed these notes, please feel free to share your thoughts and comments in the section at the bottom of this page. Your insight will help us shape the agenda of this year’s 2011 EEN Forum!

Discussion #1 Agenda

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Environmental Evaluators Network

3. 2011 Forum Theme

4. Capacity Building

5. Effective Networking

6. Future Role of the Advisory Group

7. Background on Complexity

Table 1. Common characteristics of detail and dynamically complex problems.

Detail complexity
Dynamic complexity
• Many variables (Senge 1990) • Contains numerous interacting variables (Senge 1990, Cilliers 1998, Weaver 1948)
• Well-defined problem (Rittel and Webber 1973) • Problem is not well-defined (Rittel and Webber 1973, Pacanowsky 1995)
• Agreed-upon problem (Rittel and Webber 1973) • Multiple parties with differing values and interpretations of both problem and data used to illuminate problem (Faure and Rubin 1993, Lang 1990)
• Low scientific uncertainty • High scientific uncertainty; incomplete information (Faure and Rubin 1993, Lang 1990)
• No correct answer exists; only different potential solutions (Allen and Gould 1986)
• Unclear, non-linear causal relationships (Cilliers 1998, Allen and Gould 1986)
• Context is unique (Rittel and Webber 1973, Allen and Gould 1986)
• Actions result in different spatial and temporal impacts (Senge 1990)

Download Discussion #1 Documents

2011 Call Agenda and Notes – MS Word Doc
2010 EEN Forum Feedback Memo – PDF
2-Page Summary of Speakers and Topics – EEN 2010 Forum – PDF
EEN Advisory Group members list – MS Word Doc
Discussion #1 Agenda Outline – MS Word Doc
Exploring the science of complexity: Ideas and implications for development and humanitarian efforts – PDF

Next Step: Share your suggestions below!

Post your comments about the ideas and discussion of the 2011 EEN Advisory Group in the “Post a Comment” box below and we will incorporate your ideas into the planning for the 2011 Forum in Washington DC.

1 Comment

  1. Alex Ortega
    14 March 11, 12:26pm

    Hi all,
    I ‘been following the interesting discussions of last weeks. Complexity is inherent because we have to deal with environmental-social systems. For environmental management planning, professionals are still more focused on the biological aspects of natural resources, leaving unattended many social aspects (management, gobernance, policy). Lack of information also makes more difficult to understand these systems and their processes. Our professional training and compartmentalized disciplines may also impede the “perception” of the whole picture in environmental-social systems. Modeling of those complex systems can support understanding and learning. There are modeling tools and practical applications that can be used for illustrating evaluation and learning in complex scenarios and uncertainty. Modeling tools can support decision-making and management, anticipating scenarios in systems with great uncertainty and poor information, and helping M&E. EEN could explore a session on modeling for M&E with practical examples.

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