Evaluating Coalitions and Networks: Frameworks, Needs, and Opportunities

Published: December 2017

Type: Publication

An impressive array of approaches, frameworks, and tools have been developed to evaluate coalitions and networks. This brief critically examines these resources, and points to challenges and opportunities that remain in efforts to assess their effectiveness and impact.

MonaYounis

Nonprofits understand that they often can work better and more effectively in collaboration, and foundations have encouraged and incentivized these approaches. Efforts to assess the health and impact of collaborations of all kinds have grown along with them.

An impressive array of approaches, frameworks, and tools to support coalitions and networks have been developed. This brief dives into these resources, and examines the challenges and opportunities that remain in efforts to assess their effectiveness and impact.

The brief is for coalitions and networks that are considering evaluation. It looks at what makes their work different from individual organizations, and identifies the implications for evaluation.

Five evaluations frameworks are reviewed, along with their advantages, limitations, and applicability:

  1. Core Capacity Framework
  2. Organic Evaluation
  3. Collective Impact
  4. Outcome Harvesting
  5. IPARL (Impact Planning, Assessment, Reporting, and Learning)

The brief also offers lessons and opportunities based on real-life experiences, along with insights for funders on how best to support evaluation of the coalitions and networks they support.