Steve Powell

independent researcher
dealing in social evidence



About me

I am an independent researcher based in Sarajevo.


I am interested in how we know the things we need to know to make our world work. Whether that is being a parent or running an NGO or running a country. You might say what we need is social evidence - evidence which is social in two senses of the word. First, evidence for how things are and how things change in society. Second, evidence which is itself social in nature, involving opinions, prejudices, values, memes, rumours, networks.

I find a good first move when trying to establish social evidence is to identify "mechanisms" or "programme logic" which might explain what is going on, even though these mechanisms might be vague and imprecise. If I can, I use visuals to collect and process these ideas. Pencil and eraser wherever possible.


As you might be able to guess from the above, I have studied philosophy, maths and psychology.

Down here on the Balkans I met my lovely wife Anamaria and now we have two great kids, Filip and Iva.

Here is my new blog. Here is my old one.

Oh, and here is my CV.


Work

Projects

I have nearly 20 years’ experience conducting research, monitoring and evaluation on a wide variety of topics from disaster response in Haiti to social capital in the former Soviet Union.


As a freelancer, I mostly deal with monitoring, evaluation and research for international development and disaster recovery programmes. So I set up M&E systems and also conduct evaluations and carry out research. Subject-wise I try to remain a generalist, because I love dipping into different themes as necessary, from environmental protection to beneficiary communication, from volunteerism to PTSD.

I am co-founder of proMENTE social research in Bosnia & Herzegovina, so on my blog you can read some fragments of research from B&H and the Balkans.

Prior to proMENTE, I worked as Programme Manager of a series of academic and training projects for students and psychosocial professionals in South-East Europe.

Book

Right now, I am writing a book which has a life of its own and is at the moment turning into a kind of general framework for thinking about evaluation.


Publications

My academic research has been mainly in the field of clinical psychology especially after war, covering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and post-traumatic growth.

This work was mostly together with colleagues from Sarajevo and the University of Munich. My PhD sums it up. And here are my Google Scholar page, my Research Gate thing and a Zotero list which includes even smaller projects and presentations