About me

I am an independent researcher and program evaluator.

Bio

I was based in Sarajevo, at proMENTE social research, 1997-2017 - so on this blog you can read, amongst other things, some fragments of research from B&H and the Balkans.

Prior to proMENTE, I worked as Programme Manager of a series of academic and training projects for students and psychosocial professionals in South-East Europe for the University of Munich with Prof. Willi Butollo.

Now I have moved with my family to Clevedon, near Bristol in the UK.

I am interested in, and work with, social evidence - evidence which is social in two senses of the word. First, evidence for how things are and how things change in society. Second, evidence which is itself social in nature: opinions, prejudices, values, memes, rumours, networks.

I find a good first move when trying to establish social evidence is to identify Theories of Change” which might explain what is going on, even though these Theories are mostly vague and imprecise. If I can, I use visuals to collect and process these ideas. I post articles on these topics quite frequently on LinkedIn.

As you might be able to guess from the above, I have studied philosophy, maths and psychology.

Down on the Balkans I met my lovely wife Anamaria and now we have two great kids, Filip and Iva.

Work

Projects

I have over 20 years’ experience in research, monitoring and evaluation, as well as communicating the results, in about 30 different countries (mainly SE Europe, S & SE Asia / Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa) on a wide variety of topics from disaster response in Haiti and psychosocial programming after the 2004 tsunami to social capital in the former Soviet Union, biodiversity in W Africa, community resilience in East Africa and counting stray dogs in Sarajevo.

I am strong in both quantitative (GIS, big data”, online & mobile, SPSS; R) and qualitative (Outcome Mapping, text analysis) research and evaluation approaches. I try to make my evidence-gathering transparent and am convinced of the importance of reproducible research - plus this means I can mess about with open-source software tools.

As a freelancer, I mostly deal with monitoring, evaluation and research for international development and disaster recovery programmes. This has meant working with some great people, especially at the IFRC. So I set up M&E systems and also conduct evaluations and carry out research. Subject-wise I try to remain a generalist, because I love dipping into different themes as necessary, from environmental protection and beneficiary communication to volunteerism and PTSD.

Theories of Change in evaluation

My special interest is in using Theories of Change in evaluation.

Right now, I am writing a book which has a life of its own and is at the moment turning into a kind of framework for thinking about evaluation. The book is ambitious and a bit of a mess, so if you don’t want nightmares and indigestion, try the slides.

I also provide two free web apps for constructing graphical Theories of Change using a visual and written language I call Theorymaker”. One is text-based. The other is drag-and-drop - it is still in beta, and most of the actual work is being done by Maksym Sverediuk.

Publications

My academic research has been mainly in the field of clinical psychology especially after war, covering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and post-traumatic growth.

This work was mostly together with colleagues from Sarajevo and the University of Munich, especially Maria Hagl. My PhD sums it up.



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