Evaluating Systems Change and Place-Based Approaches

Dr Jess Dart, Dr Ellise Barkley

Join the creators of Australia’s ‘game-changing’ Place-Based Evaluation Framework to discover how to evaluate place-based and systems-change initiatives.

With practical tools and techniques to help you to evaluate complex and emergent work, this online course is your chance to learn with global leaders in place-based and systems-change evaluation.
Note: 15% discount applies for non-profits, Australian Evaluation Society members, and students.

Course information

  • Mode: Online
  • Prerequisites: 3 Years' Experience or Complete MEL course
  • Cost: $1350 AUD
  • Start date: 8 October 2021
  • Duration: 8 weeks
  • Intensity: 3 hours per week

Course overview

As any change-maker knows, sometimes you need to think differently and break the rules to really address the underlying causes of complex social problems. But as evaluators, we also need to show how we will measure impact and keep our work on track – even in highly complex and emergent place-based and systems-change settings.

As co-creators of Australia’s first Place-Based Evaluation Framework, we’re sharing our key learnings and tools to help you tackle shared measurement, community-centric approaches and more in this emerging evaluation space.

In this course, you’ll learn how to develop clear and phase-appropriate evaluation systems and measures of success, incorporating learning and community voice into the evaluative process. You’ll also be equipped with practical tools and resources to capture the complexity of your work, while still providing a practical roadmap to help keep partners and community on track.

learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:
  • Understand what systems change and place-based approaches are and how they differ from programmatic responses
  • Identify key practice principles for evaluating systems change and place-based approaches
  • Develop a phased theory of change
  • Develop and select key evaluation questions
  • Identify appropriate methods/tools to use

Course inclusions

  • Great mix of content including text, images, videos and interactivities
  • Learning to suit your schedule including hands-on practical application of the content
  • Suite of place-based and systems change measurement, evaluation and learning tools and resources
  • Access to global thought leaders in this emerging evaluation space
  • Co-learning with a cohort of peer change-makers and evaluators, sharing real-life, real-time case studies.
  • Ongoing access to the course content post formal course conclusion

Want to know if this course is right for you? You can contact our Academy team on info@clearhorizonacademy.com or (+61) 3 9425 7777 to find out more. Or, check out our FAQs page.

Course MENTORS & facilitators

Join us to build your skills and create greater impact today!

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at practitioners and social innovators who want to apply new thinking to persistent problems, and understand how to build a truly effective evaluation system that captures complexity while providing a roadmap to keep the initiative and partners on track.

MEL Professionals

Monitoring and Evaluation Managers, Project Managers and Consultants engaged in place-based or systems change initiatives.

Social Change Makers

Social impact innovators, and collective impact and collaboration leads looking for tools and resources to measure their joint impact. ​



  • (+61) 3 9425 7777
  • Email us
  • 132B Gwynne Street, Cremorne, 3121, VIC

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The Clear Horizon Academy is a learning initiative of Clear Horizon.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which Clear Horizon is located and where we conduct our business. We pay our respects to Elders, past, present and emerging. Clear Horizon is deeply committed to honouring Indigenous peoples’ unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters and seas; and to transforming evaluation practice to uphold and reflect Indigenous values.
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Jess Dart sq

Dr Jess Dart


Inventor of practical methodologies and highly demanded facilitator, Jess navigates complexity with comfort and helps her clients to become clear about their desired outcomes and how to get there.

Recipient of the 2018 AES Award for outstanding contribution to evaluation, Jess has over 25 years experience in evaluating and designing social change initiatives and strategies in Australia and overseas.

In October 2005, Jess founded Clear Horizon Consulting and is now CEO. She is also a board member of the Australasian Evaluation society.

Jess is passionate about developing and designing real world evaluation and strategy for social justice and sustainability. She particularly works with systems change interventions, large scale strategy and social innovation. After completing her PhD she co-authored the Most Significant Change (MSC) guide alongside Dr Rick Davies, which is now translated into 12 different languages.

MSC is well suited to evaluation in the complex emergent context. The latest innovation by Jess, Collaborative Outcomes Reporting (COR), is a collaborative form of impact evaluation.

Jess is also an active mum and has two teenage boys. In a quiet moment, she loves reading far-future science fiction and enjoys long distance running.

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