Evaluating LEDlab: Strategies for Developmental and Systems Change Evaluation

Like most projects, we at the LEDlab wanted to make sure we were delivering what we set out to do and are meeting our program goals. But when working with complex emergent projects with a goal of social innovation, it can be challenging to use traditional evaluation methods that expect a defined strategy and outcomes. A challenge we face is that the system we are working within is changing rapidly, we don’t know all the answers going in (that’s the whole point of the lab approach!) and we are co-creating the project with our partners. We have used Developmental Evaluation to support both ongoing learning and data collection to evaluate our contribution to systems change.

This whitepaper describes our approach to evaluation and gives concrete examples of how we implemented that approach. We hope the tools and techniques described here will be useful when evaluating your own lab.