Barbara Schmidt-Abbey

Co-chair of EES Thematic Working Group 8 ‘Systems approaches for evaluation’

  • Contributor


Barbara is an evaluator and systems practitioner, with 35 years' professional and organisational experience, of which she spent the last 17 years as Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in an EU research agency in Dublin, Ireland. She has a cross-disciplinary background, originally in information science and information systems development, with an MBA and an MSc in Systems Thinking and Practice from the Open University (UK).

Barbara works in various capacities and roles, with emphasis on monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects, and including organisational development, knowledge management, innovation strategy, group facilitation and workshop design, mentoring, coaching and confidential counselling.

She is strongly committed to developing systems thinking capacity and institutionalising and mainstreaming systems thinking in practice, particularly in policy-relevant research and evaluation settings. Barbara is currently also a PhD researcher with the Open University (UK), Applied Systems Thinking in Practice Group (2018-2025), researching how policy analysis and evaluation at the Science-Policy Interface might contribute to (more) systemic policymaking when faced with complexity and uncertainty. Since autumn 2022, she is co-leader of the then newly established Thematic Working Group (TWG8) on 'Systems approaches in evaluation' within the European Evaluation Society, which was set up as a forum for discussion, exchange, co-development and exploration of systems approaches in evaluation within and for the community of evaluation practitioners in Europe.

At the School of System Change

Barbara is a member of the MEL in Systems Change Inquiry Group hosted by the School of System Change in 2023. The inquiry group convened people specialising in monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) to co-produce thought pieces on what is emerging in MEL in the field of systems change as well as bridge traditional MEL with complexity-informed developmental MEL. Learn more about the project.


Find out more about Barbara: