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  • publication Jan 2022

    Lost Causal: Debunking Myths About Causal Analysis in Philanthropy

    Causal analysis is not just for controlled programmatic work, it is also for dynamic and emergent strategies that include network building, field building, advocacy, organizing, or movements.

    By Sarah Stachowiak, Julia Coffman, Jewlya Lynn

    Lost Causal: Debunking Myths About Causal Analysis in Philanthropy
  • Building with windows

    publication Nov 2021

    We need to articulate our assumptions so that we can test them. Here’s a guide to help.

    This four-page guidance defines assumptions, explains why it is critical to articulate them, and then offers a set of prompting questions to help elicit them. Examples are included.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman

    We need to articulate our assumptions so that we can test them. Here’s a guide to help.
  • event Dec 2020

    American Evaluation Association (2020)

    CEI staff presented at the virtual American Evaluation Association conference in October 2020.

    American Evaluation Association (2020)
  • insight Jun 2020

    It’s Time to Let Go of Tired Narratives about Talent in Evaluation

    Social sector conversations about talent often focus on increasing diversity, building skillsets, and improving hiring and management. But to solve tough social problems, we need to let go of tired narratives about talent and work together to dismantle oppression in the evaluation field.

    By Clare Nolan

    It’s Time to Let Go of Tired Narratives about Talent in Evaluation
  • presentation May 2020

    Why is Evaluation So White?

    In this presentation, Vidhya Shanker, PhD, and Carolina De La Rosa Mateo, MPH, explore how the field of evaluation has approached race, the implications of that approach, and the promise of generative networks to amplify the work of evaluators who identify as Indigenous, Black, or People of Color (IBPOC), as illustrated by one such network recently formed in Minnesota.

    By Vidhya Shanker, Carolina De La Rosa Mateo

    Why is Evaluation So White?
  • presentation Feb 2020

    Performance Measurement for Emergent and Complex Strategies [Webinar]

    Learn about four types of strategies—niche, integrated, emergent, and ecosystem—and the types of performance measurement and accountability systems best suited to each.

    Performance Measurement for Emergent and Complex Strategies [Webinar]
  • insight Dec 2019

    The Realm of Possibility in Evaluation

    It is possible to get more from evaluation, and it starts by challenging our own habits.

    By Mariah Brothe Gantz

    The Realm of Possibility in Evaluation
  • publication Jan 2018

    Addendum to On the Other Side of Complexity: The McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program

    This addendum makes clarifications to the teaching case of The McKnight Foundation's Collaborative Crop Research Program and its evaluation. It adds detail on the program's developmental evaluation.

    Addendum to On the Other Side of Complexity: The McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program
  • publication Sep 2017

    On the Other Side of Complexity: The McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program

    Under the direction of a new president, The McKnight Foundation embarked on a process to imbue learning at every level of one of its signature international programs: the Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP). This teaching case explores the creation, implementation, and ongoing refinement of an evaluation and learning approach for CCRP from 2008 to 2017. 

    On the Other Side of Complexity: The McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program
  • publication May 2017

    Systems Change Evaluation Forum

    Complex systems change efforts create practical challenges for evaluation. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation convened their full staff and a group of external evaluators who work in philanthropy for a Systems Change Evaluation Forum. This report provides observations, tools, approaches, and advice for addressing systems evaluation challenges.

    By Tanya Beer

    Systems Change Evaluation Forum
  • publication Jul 2015

    Strategy Design Amid Complexity: Tools for Designing and Implementing Adaptive Funding Strategies

    Foundations need processes and tools to create and implement adaptive strategies while also addressing the core dilemmas these strategies create. This Foundation Review article offers tools to help foundations design adaptive strategies, and ideas for balancing accountability with adaptability. 

    By Tanya Beer

    Strategy Design Amid Complexity: Tools for Designing and Implementing Adaptive Funding Strategies
  • publication Jul 2014

    The State of Network Evaluation: Framing Paper

    Many in the social-change sector are recognizing the potential power of networks for achieving social change. But how do you evaluate them? This paper examines the field’s thinking on network evaluation frameworks, approaches, and tools.

    By Julia Coffman

    The State of Network Evaluation: Framing Paper