Assessing Social Change

The Assessing Social Change group asked: what processes for assessing and learning about social change can help improve the strategies and results of organisations working to transform inequalities in favour of the poor?

Between May 2005 and November 2006, a small group of development professionals discussed the opportunities and challenges for assessing and learning about social change in ways that provide valuable insights and strengthen the change process. This group was made up of individuals whose position in relation to the topic represented important voices to be heard: activists, researchers, evaluators, facilitators, international and local NGO staff. This group called itself the ‘assessing social change’ or ASC group.

Central to the group’s discussions was a common concern with the gap between the need for reflective social change practice and the existing understanding and range of approaches for assessment and learning. The group debated and shared through a series of facilitated e-discussions, case studies and two workshops.

The ASC group was coordinated by Irene Guijt from Learning by Design, in the Netherlands. This initiative had emerged from earlier discussions in Canada between US-based activists and evaluators and Southern development professionals, seeking to construct exchanges that could help strengthen social change work. The North American discussions have continued in parallel as the ‘Learning Group on Organizational Learning and Organizational Development’ under the guidance of Vicki Creed, with Andy Mott and Francois Pierre-Louis.

Case Studies

Recent work


Critical Readings on Assessing and Learning for Social Change: A Review

The readings in this literature review provide an overview of the ideas and approaches that are considered useful in shaping new approaches to assessment and learning that strengthen the very processes of transformation that are their focus. The choice of readings has been strongly shaped by...

1 July 2008