Reflexive monitoring in New Zealand: Evaluation lessons in supporting transformative change

Kelly Rijswijk*, Denise Bewsell, Bruce Small, Paula Blackett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


An Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) approach is currently being used to determine whether the adoption of agricultural innovations in New Zealand can be enhanced. Important elements of the innovation systems approach include the participatory application of a co-innovation process, for example inclusiveness and a focus on transformative change, to remove barriers in the creation and uptake of sustainable innovations. Alongside AIS, novel evaluation approaches are being used, namely reflexive monitoring. Thus, the role of a reflexive monitor has been trialled to help understand and guide the co-innovation process. A reflexive monitor helps innovation networks challenge and change assumptions, practices, and underlying institutions in the design or management of a project, through an on-going process of evaluation in an action research setting. In this article, experiences of reflexive monitoring conducted within a research programme in New Zealand are shared. Information was gathered from workshops, meetings and interviews with reflexive monitors. Insights include the need to understand that there is no recipe for the role of a reflexive monitor, that is the role is context-dependent. However, focussing on developing solutions to a problem and taking a flexible, adaptive approach are essential elements in ensuring that monitoring and evaluation are effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalEvaluation Journal of Australasia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

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