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​Role Description

Although a one-size-fits-all approach to reflexive monitoring does not exist, a generic job description has been developed based on the common experiences of current reflexive monitors in New Zealand.

A Reflexive Monitor:

Reports to:

  • The project leader

Interacts with:

  • The project team
  • The project leader
  • Stakeholders

Position Scope:

Works collaboratively with the project leader, project team members and participants to assist them in delivering the impact desired by everyone involved in the project.


  • Support the project manager
  • Help get the project team where it needs to go
  • Identify conflict within the project team
  • Make sure the right stakeholders are involved
  • Observe how the required system change (‘ambition for change’) is being articulated
  • Determine whether learning is taking place
  • Determine whether collaborative actions are designed and implemented (to achieve the system change)
  • Encourage project participants to reflect upon the relationship between the project and its context, between project activities and between short-terms objectives and long-term goals
  • Identify, in collaboration with project leader, when an intervention is needed to support progress towards the desired impact
  • Identify, implement and facilitate appropriate interventions in the project to address problems and challenges that have triggered the need for intervention
  • Monitor, evaluate and record processes, actions and outcomes from innovation project activities
  • Continually build knowledge and expertise in the application of reflexive methods
  • Assist the group articulate and achieve a shared ambition for change, observe how this change ambition is articulated by participants.
  • Encourage the project to proceed in a manner which is consistent with co-innovation principles 
  • Observe group and individual behaviours and facilitate change in these where deemed appropriate (i.e., have the potential to affect the ability of the group to achieved system change)
  • Ensure reflection is built into the process in order to progress the shared ambition and achieve system
  • change.
  • Suggest or undertake interventions when the team appears to be going off track or is stuck
  • Provide advice to the project team on actions or processes to enhance group functioning (supported by the other roles)
  • Ensuring trade-offs of project decisions are recognised


  • Ability to quickly appreciate and reflect the wording, language and world views of the innovation project team and participants
  • Ability to apply both appreciative enquiry and critical analysis methods where appropriate:
    • Appreciative enquiry – Reflexive Monitor becomes an involved participant using a constructive and exploratory mind-set
    • Critical analysis – Reflexive Monitor becomes an involved outsider providing norms and structures to the project participants based on co-innovation principles
  • Experience with multiple methods of observation; 
  • Knowledge of the monitoring cycle and its application to both projects and the system projects seek to change; 
  • Knowledge of co-innovation principles; 
  • Experience working in trans-disciplinary teams

Professional behaviours:

  • Build and retain trust with the innovation project leader, team and participants
  • Maintain an appropriate level of distance from project to ensure impartiality
  • Maintain awareness of how the innovation project team and participants work to ensure the appropriate balance of appreciative inquiry and critical analysis




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