Evaluating behavioural change initiatives or interventions is normally done through outcome evaluations. Outcome evaluations measure participant numbers, demographics and reported changes in behaviour, knowledge, beliefs, values or awareness. They also look at finding and funding solutions at an individual level, such as one single community group or priority groups in a specific location.
Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) show that social problems are spiralling from simple, localised area issues to complex, global challenges. Outcome evaluations, while necessary, are no longer sufficient in measuring the behavioural dynamics needed for large scale, systems change. These efforts require new thinking and a movement towards process evaluation work, where reflexivity becomes the norm in assessing how things are changing or not, augmenting outcome evaluations. Reflexive evaluations measure ‘what’ worked well, as well as also evaluating ‘how’ and ‘why’ success or indeed failure happens.