I am an independent researcher and program evaluator.
This blog is like an attic where I put stuff that doesn’t fit in any of those categories.
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.
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.
My special interest is in using Theories of Change in evaluation.
Right now, I am writing a set of slides which may become a book.
I also provide a free web app for constructing graphical Theories of Change using a visual and written language I call “Theorymaker”. It is text-based.
My academic research has been mainly in the field of clinical psychology especially after war, covering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and post-traumatic growth.