ZEF Public Lecture: Disrupting Impact Narratives for System Transformation

April 18, 2024 | 13:30 h - 14:30 h

We'd like to invite you to our upcoming Public Lecture!

Topic: Disrupting Impact Narratives for System Transformation

Speakers: Tereza Kaplan, Sebastian Schuster and Arno Bratz (Welthungerhilfe)

The lecture will be held in hybrid mode (zoom and in-person at ZEF). 
You can join us in-person at ZEF, third floor, room 3.032, Genscherallee 3, 53113 Bonn,
or online via Zoom: https://uni-bonn.zoom-x.de/meeting/register/u5cuf-2uqjkjEtFVFL5OSqB9Z8PbusMCC2s3


A global polycrisis marked by urgent challenges such as environmental degradation, social injustice, conflict, and economic instability, calls for transformation of entire systems and adoption of approaches that go beyond silos and linear thinking. This imperative is accompanied by a concurrent call for the transformation of evaluation practice towards more systemic and complexity-sensitive approaches. However, how can we disrupt conventional narratives and reshape evaluation frameworks to consciously consider systems as a lever to lasting impact? Welthungerhilfe argues that a non-systemic understanding of impact is no longer appropriate. Welthungerhilfe provides a snapshot of the current understanding of impact within international cooperation and humanitarian action, based on a study benchmarking impact definitions of more than 40 actors. With rising justification pressures, agencies emphasize causal effect relationships as a core attribute of impact. However, a systemic interpretation of impact, corresponding to the shift towards more systemic thinking and practice, is still inconsistent. We propose six attributes that characterize impact. Their incorporation in impact definitions frames the ability to measure systemic changes and identify impacts on systems as such - a precondition for scaling positive impact in a sustainable manner. 


Tereza Kaplan guides Welthungerhilfe’s efforts to scale positive impact for zero hunger, as the Senior Impact & System Evaluation Advisor. With expertise in evaluation and human rights, her passion lies in fostering social justice by using evidence. She has experience spanning the UK public sector, the UN, and non-governmental domains.

Sebastian Schuster leads the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning team of Welthungerhilfe, supporting evidence-based programming and impact orientation for ZeroHunger. Further, he is a speaker of the working group on Impact Orientation of the Association of German Development NGOs (VENRO). 

Arno Bratz is Welthungerhilfe’s Head of Sector Strategy, Knowledge and Learning, heading a team of senior experts who develop, guide and measure strategies and programs to maximize the organization’s collective impact on zero hunger, food system transformation, climate resilience and localization in collaboration with WHH staff and local and international partners in 36 countries. 



Katrin Glatzel

Dr. Katrin Glatzel


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