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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Molina

Landscape Diagram: Data Implications

The Landscape Diagram can help you assess which types of evaluation or data collection approaches are the best fit across contexts. This can be challenging for coalitions, collaboratives, collective impact initiatives, or any other groups working on systems change because traditional approaches might not always fit.

I learned about the Landscape Diagram through the Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) Institute. However, there are other versions of this framework (e.g., the Stacey matrix, and the Agreement-Certainty Matrix).

The table below provides an overview of each of the categories:



Data Approaches

​Dynamic (Predicative) Strategies / Activities

  1. Collaborators agree on the approach / strategy / activity

  2. Collaborators agree on the desired outcomes

Collaborators are very certain that if the work is implemented correctly the desired outcomes will be achieved

  1. Formative evaluation

  2. Summative evaluation

  3. Measuring outcomes

  4. Pre / post surveys

Exploratory Strategies / Activities

  1. There are no clear approaches / strategies / activities

  2. Collaborators have not identified specific short-term outcomes

Collaborators are very uncertain about what would lead to positive outcomes

  1. ​Monitor key indicators

  2. Needs assessment

Emergent Strategies / Activities

  1. There may be some promising approaches / strategies / activities

  2. Collaborators may not agree on the best approach to take

  3. Collaborators may be open to shifting approach / strategy / activity

  4. Collaborators may be open to shifting short-term outcomes

Certainty about achieving results is being explored

  1. Developmental evaluation

  2. Principle-focused evaluation

  3. Document progress

  4. Monitor key indicators

  5. Explore patterns

Additional Resources

  1. Landscape Diagram:

  2. Agreement-Certainty Matrix Document: Cabaj, Mark. (n.d.). Situational Leadership & Management. Tamarack.

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