Centre for Development Studies

Impact assessment of financial market development through the lens of complexity theory

October 2012 - February 2013

Principle Investigator: Susan Johnson

Project Team:

  • Susan Johnson
  • Jean Boulton

Funding Body: Financial Sector Deepening Trust, Kenya

Total Value of Award: £24,000

Project Rationale and Aims:

The Financial Sector Deepening Trust, Kenya is a multi-donor trust which funds a range of projects through which it intends to develop the financial sector to better support inclusive growth and serve the low income market. The research intends to examine what complexity theory can offer to producing a more systematic approach to assessing the impact of its projects and programme more broadly.

With donors ever more concerned to understand their impact and the value for money of their interventions it is important to develop a range of approaches which reflect the complexity of how impact actually arises. In contrast to the dominant paradigm of linear impact pathways frequently captured in logical frameworks, complexity theory emphasises the synergistic, path-dependent, contextual and non-linear dimensions which lead to impact.

The project will use case studies to explore how impact can be attributed and propose approaches to more systematic impact monitoring and assessment.


Project report will be published in Spring 2013.

For more information about this project please contact:

Name: Dr Susan Johnson
Title: Senior Lecturer
Department: Dept of Social and Policy Sciences
Location: 3 East 3.32
E-mail: s.z.johnson@bath.ac.uk
Phone: work+44 (0) 1225 386292