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Reflexive Monitoring in Action

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.

Guide and tools

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:

  1. Reflexive monitors
    Consultants, innovation brokers and action researchers who are (or will be) handling the actual monitoring
  2. 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.
  3. Clients
    Policy officers, financiers and others who act as the commissioning party for system innovation initiatives.

RMA Guide
In English or Dutch

Learning Mirror
New tool RMA, supplement to the RMA guide

Elaboration of Dynamic Learning Agenda
Application in natal care


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.


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

Practitioners' network activities

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.