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Guest Lecture: Mat Walton - Applying complexity theory to policy analysis and evaluation

Page updated Mar 19, 2015

Event Details


Presentation material for Mat Walton's lecture to be presented at the Treasury on 18 March 2015.


Can complexity theory solve some of the challenges for policy analysis and evaluation created by joined up government and shared outcomes across 'wicked' issues? Complexity theory offers conceptual models of how systems over time often remain stable yet sometimes change radically. Complexity theory also offers methodology and analysis tools of use to policy analysis and evaluation. Drawing upon research literature and lessons from a series of applied research projects, this presentation will outline a number of the conceptual and methodological insights of complexity theory. Wider implications of complexity theory for political and bureaucratic institutions will also be considered, some of which act as barriers to adopting a complexity perspective in policy work.

About Mat Walton

Mat Walton is a senior lecturer in the School of Public Health, Massey University. Mat conducts research within the field of public health policy, with particular focus on the of complexity theory to policy analysis analysis, intervention design and evaluation. Prior to undertaking a PhD at the University of Otago, Mat worked as a policy analyst within both central and local government.

Note: Papers, presentation slides and any other material provided by the Guest Lecturer will be made available some time after the lecture at Publications > Media & Speeches > Guest Lectures by Visiting Academics.