Monitoring Creative Processes: the Timeline and Learning History

H.E. Wielinga, M.C. Herens

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic


Agricultural advisors often act as facilitators in network processes with stakeholders in a joint search for solutions acceptable to all. The outcome of such processes is hard to predict. Yet most funding agencies require detailed project descriptions, with SMART formulated targets and performance indicators, to keep executing agencies accountable for spending. Regular monitoring and evaluation (M&E) methods, focused on measuring anticipated results and explanations for success or failure, often fail to grasp what really matters in such processes. The Timeline Method and Learning History were designed for reflection on what is actually happening rather than what is supposed to. In the version presented in this paper, monitoring is done with the stakeholders, and this seems to work well for the continuation of the process. Project commissioners also appear to like the results. We begin with a selection of relevant literature highlighting the roots of the methods. Then our paper becomes practical: how do the methods work, and what were our experiences with the different ones? We have applied them in a range of circumstances; networks around farmers’ initiatives, international NGOs in North-South collaboration, programs on rural development and health workers’ initiatives stimulating physical activity. We conclude with a reflection on the advantages and limitations of the methods.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event21st ESEE (European Seminar on Extension Education) -
Duration: 2 Sep 20136 Sep 2013


Seminar21st ESEE (European Seminar on Extension Education)

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