Giving Compass' Take:

• Implementing systems change means looking at a complex problem, and analyzing the interconnected parts in order to create change. This blog post breaks down three components essential to systems change: Understanding interrelationships, engaging with multiple perspectives, and reflecting on boundaries. 

• Why is this an effective approach? What makes these components important for the process?

• Read about how collaborative funding is a big part of systems change. 

You may be hearing terms like systems change, collective impact, and multi-sectoral initiatives a lot these days to describe situations where multiple actors are working together to tackle complex social problems.

If you’re working or considering working within one of these types of initiatives, it’s critical to first recognize the complexity of the system (or set of interconnected parts) you’re working with and to think about what success would look like within that system.

Although systems are complex, systems thinking – and the corresponding evaluation design – can be broken down into three essential elements:

  • Understanding interrelationships between the actors involved and between the desired outcomes
  • Engaging with multiple perspectives to see where an intervention has different purposes or framings
  • Reflecting on boundaries, i.e., the choices made when deciding what is important and not important to measure

In this blog, we share how we’ve applied these elements to evaluation design for two different types of systems initiatives in our work with Healthier New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance (NBCFA).

Read the full article about systems initiatives by Rose Konecky and Lisa Frantzen at TCC Group