Reflexive Monitoring in Action (RMA) is an integrated methodology to encourage learning within multi-actor groups or networks as well as institutional change in order to deal with complex problems. Appointed reflexive monitors stimulate collective learning and the design and adaptation of actions targeting a future system change. Key is to trigger recurrent collective reflection on the results of actions undertaken in the light of systemic barriers as well as opportunities. While facing the everyday struggles of an ongoing transformative change process, these system innovation initiatives will thus be able to change their practices, relations and rules and contribute to the long term ambition of sustainability.
Over the past decade, the methodology has been applied in many projects and programmes in a diversity of domains, such as sustainable agriculture, health, international development, the knowledge infrastructure, and learning for sustainability. It has developed into a coherent body of basic starting points, principles and intervention strategies. On this site, you find the basic guide, additional tools, RMA projects and articles as well as information on activities for the network of practitioners.
The guide on Reflexive Monitoring in Action offers principles, practical guidelines as well as theory and tools. Additional tools, developed more recently, are provided separately. The guide and tools focus on three target groups:
- Reflexive monitors
Consultants, innovation brokers and action researchers who are (or will be) handling the actual monitoring
- Innovation managers
Project managers or innovation champions who feel responsible for the progress of the innovation process and the realisation of the system innovation ambition.
Policy officers, financiers and others who act as the commissioning party for system innovation initiatives.
New tool RMA, supplement to the RMA guide
Elaboration of Dynamic Learning Agenda
Application in natal care (Dutch)
Here you find scientific articles that 1) reflect upon experiences with Reflexive Monitoring in Action in general or any of the RMA tools or 2) elaborate the theoretical foundations of the methodology. If you cannot obtain the full paper otherwise, you can ask Barbara van Mierlo a copy for personal use.
- Arkesteijn, M., B. van Mierlo and C. Leeuwis (2015). The need for reflexive evaluation approaches in development cooperation. In: Evaluation 21(1): 99-115.
- Veen, S. C. V., R. D. Wildt–Liesveld, J. F. Bunders and B. J. Regeer (2014). Supporting reflective practices in social change processes with the dynamic learning agenda: an example of learning about the process towards disability inclusive development. In:
International Journal of Learning and Change 7(3-4): 211-233
- van Mierlo, B., M. Arkesteijn and C. Leeuwis (2010). Enhancing the reflexivity of system innovation projects with system analyses. In: American Journal of Evaluation 31(2): 143-161
- Regeer, B. J., A.-C. Hoes, M. van Amstel-van Saane, F. F. Caron-Flinterman and J. F. Bunders (2009). Six guiding principles for evaluating mode-2 strategies for sustainable development. In:
American Journal of Evaluation 30(4): 515-537
- van Mierlo, B., C. Leeuwis, R. Smits and R. K. Woolthuis (2010). Learning towards system innovation: Evaluating a systemic instrument. In: Technological Forecasting and Social Change 77(2): 318-334
- Beers, P. J., Mierlo, B., & Hoes, A. C. (2016). Toward an Integrative Perspective on Social Learning in System Innovation Initiatives. In: Ecology and Society, 21(1)
- Hoes, A. C., Beers, P. J., & van Mierlo, B. (2016). Communicating tensions among incumbents about system innovation in the Dutch dairy sector. In: Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions.
- Regeer, B. J., de Wildt-Liesveld, R., van Mierlo, B., & Bunders, J. F. (2016). Exploring ways to reconcile accountability and learning in the evaluation of niche experiments. In: Evaluation, 22(1), 6-28.
In these projects Reflexive Monitoring in Action is or will be applied with the aim to develop the methodology further.
- Research programme Network Interventions by Private Partners for Responsible Innovation (NIPPRI), financed by the Dutch NWO-programme Responsible Innovation (Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Innoveren, MVI). Read more
- PhD-research Margreet Mook, Wageningen University: Reflection and action in social intervention programs. Learning-oriented evaluation of the Dutch program ‘Sustainable perspective for people with a disability’. Margreet Mook
- PhD-research Esin Gültekin, Wageningen University Learning in smart grid pilot projects, past of ERA-Net/ NWO-projects CESEPS: Co-Evolution of Smart Energy Products and Services
Past activities for sharing experiences, insights and output among practitioners working with or sincerely interested in reflexive monitoring to support multi-actor innovation initiatives seeking transformative change. Future activities will be mentioned under News.
- Seminar Reflexive monitoring for transformative change, 9 April 2014.
- Theatre debate Sustainable Agriculture Innovation, 17 April 2015