Resources

  • publication Jun 2019

    When Opportunity Knocks, Open the Door: Evaluation Amidst Transition at the Colorado Health Foundation

    The Colorado Health Foundation experienced multiple organizational transitions in a short period of time, including two strategy redesigns, culture and values shifts, new expectations and assumption about roles and performance, and a new CEO. This teaching case invites reflection on the role of evaluation staff and consultants amidst the uncertainty and ambiguity of organizational change.

    When Opportunity Knocks, Open the Door: Evaluation Amidst Transition at the Colorado Health Foundation
  • publication Jun 2019

    Realigning Foundation Trustees to Incentivize Learning

    A common barrier for the development of a foundation's learning culture is how staff and boards engage. The problem is that most of the routines in the board room are actually based on the mental model that social change is a technocratic problem-solving endeavor. There could be a lot of power in starting to change the routines and habits that hold that technocratic mental model in place.

    By Tanya Beer

    Realigning Foundation Trustees to Incentivize Learning
  • publication Mar 2019

    No Royal Road: Finding and Following the Natural Pathways in Advocacy Evaluation

    As efforts at driving change become more diffuse, involve more actors, and have more transformational goals, we need a radically different approach to thinking about and assessing effective advocacy. Clear answers, certain judgments, and simple tools won't result in good representations of reality. This brief proposes ideas for adjusting how we approach advocacy monitoring, evaluation, and learning.

    No Royal Road: Finding and Following the Natural Pathways in Advocacy Evaluation
  • insight Jun 2018

    5-A-Day: Learning By Force of Habit

    Establishing a learning organization or culture is such a big goal that it can overwhelm our ability to act on it. This piece, published on Medium, explores how building learning habits into common routines makes it more manageable, and creates small wins that can lead to big change. Focusing on habits ensures that learning is not a separate activity, but rather is integrated into our day-to-day work.

    By Julia Coffman

    5-A-Day: Learning By Force of Habit
  • insight Jun 2018

    Precipitating Events and Rewards in Making a Habit of Learning

    Better habits around learning are critical to improving philanthropic practice. This piece looks at what needs to happen before and after habit change to make a new way of working stick.

    By Kat Athanasiades

    Precipitating Events and Rewards in Making a Habit of Learning
  • insight May 2018

    Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The Consequences of Small Failures in Learning

    It was the worst U.S. maritime disaster in three decades, involving an experienced captain with a reputation for safety. This article, published on Medium, explains went wrong and what it can teach us about the often-overlooked factors that affect our learning and decisions.

    By Julia Coffman

    Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The Consequences of Small Failures in Learning
  • 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 Jan 2018

    Evaluation Coaching: Light Up Your Client’s Expertise

    The practice of coaching is gaining momentum in the evaluation profession, and more evaluators are including it in their skill set. This brief introduces the use of coaching in evaluation capacity building, and provides principles and three tools for integrating coaching into evaluation practice.

    Evaluation Coaching: Light Up Your Client’s Expertise
  • publication Dec 2017

    Evaluating Coalitions and Networks: Frameworks, Needs, and Opportunities

    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.

    Evaluating Coalitions and Networks: Frameworks, Needs, and Opportunities
  • publication Nov 2017

    Contribution Analysis in Policy Work: Assessing Advocacy’s Influence

    How do we know what difference advocacy really makes? This brief explores the methodological application of contribution analysis, a non-experimental impact evaluation method, to advocacy and offers guidance for evaluators considering this approach.

    Contribution Analysis in Policy Work: Assessing Advocacy’s Influence
  • presentation Sep 2017

    Better, Faster, Results – Supporting Learning for Multiple Audiences

    How can foundations build an approach that is connected to robust data and information and supports the many learning needs of multiple actors? This presentation for the 2017 Evaluation Roundtable convening is on strategies for supporting learning in philanthropy. It presents questions, challenges, and implications for foundation practice.

    By Julia Coffman, Kat Athanasiades, Tanya Beer

    Better, Faster, Results – Supporting Learning for Multiple Audiences
  • 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