evaluation-conference.de - Sessions B: Method Market - Stories and statistics with SenseMaker: New kid on the evaluation

Stories and statistics with SenseMaker®

New kid on the evaluative block

SenseMaker® is an innovative newcomer to evaluative practice, with two experiments in 2009/2010 pioneering its application in international development. This presentation outlines the principles, logic and logistics of a SenseMaker-based evaluation methodology. It draws on an example in Kenya, implemented within the context of GlobalGiving partners. In 2010, the use of SM in the development sector was tried for the first time. These experiences suggest that much is possible:

  • focus on shifting patterns of impact as perceived by different perspectives, including beneficiaries
  • generate databases, actually people's life libraries, that allow - if facilitated and linked to decision makers - creating evidence-based policy
  • generate rolling baselines to continually update evidence base enable cross-silo thinking (including cross-organisational) and move away from narrow understanding of attribution of efforts
  • seek surprise explicitly away from only viewing people's lives through our own concepts
  • more grounded and more diverse feedback to donors and therefore more local autonomy
  • generating actionable insights, based on very concrete needs, via peer to peer KM.


  • Irene Guijt


Pictures & Illustrations

Visual Facilitation Session B2
Participants at a market stall in Session B
I. Guijt giving her presentation