Resources

  • publication Jan 2015

    Field of Themes: Five Early Lessons from an Innovative Advocacy Approach

    Many public policy issues are so expansive and complex that they cannot be boiled down to a specific targeted strategy and require a different approach--field building. This article offers lessons about developing and deploying an advocacy field building initiative from a program officer’s perspective. 

    Field of Themes: Five Early Lessons from an Innovative Advocacy Approach
  • publication Sep 2014

    Assessing and Evaluating Change in Advocacy Fields

    Funders engaged in advocacy field building have different evaluation needs than those that aim to build specific advocacy capacities or advance a particular policy change. This resource brings together emerging ideas about how to assess advocacy fields and evaluate advocacy field-building initiatives. 

    Assessing and Evaluating Change in Advocacy Fields
  • presentation Jul 2014

    Evaluation and Learning for Aligned Action: 2014 Evaluation Roundtable Convening

    This presentation provides the context for the 2014 Evaluation Roundtable convening, as well as discussion outlines, benchmarking data, case examples, and key lessons and implications for evaluation and learning. 

    By Julia Coffman, Tanya Beer

    Evaluation and Learning for Aligned Action: 2014 Evaluation Roundtable Convening
  • publication Jul 2014

    A Practical Guide to Evaluating Systems Change in a Human Services System Context

    A consensus has grown in the public, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors that we must use systems change approaches to effectively address society’s most intractable challenges. Evaluating systems change efforts can be messy, if not outright overwhelming. This guide offers a pragmatic framework. 

    A Practical Guide to Evaluating Systems Change in a Human Services System Context
  • 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
  • publication Jul 2014

    Evaluating Networks for Social Change: A Casebook

    This casebook profiles nine evaluations of network effectiveness that are designed to fit with how networks develop and function.

    By Julia Coffman

    Evaluating Networks for Social Change: A Casebook
  • publication Jul 2014

    First Among Equals: The Evaluation of the McConnell Foundation Social Innovation Generation Initiative

    This teaching case explores both the real and potential evaluation of a foundation strategy focused on social innovation in Canada. 

    First Among Equals: The Evaluation of the McConnell Foundation Social Innovation Generation Initiative
  • publication Jun 2014

    Evaluation and Learning for Complexity and Aligned Action: Framing Brief

    This framing brief developed for the 2014 Evaluation Roundtable convening explores whether and how sectoral shifts in strategy mindset and practice toward more complexity and emergence call for changes in the role of evaluation and learning in foundations. 

    By Julia Coffman, Tanya Beer

    Evaluation and Learning for Complexity and Aligned Action: Framing Brief
  • publication May 2014

    How Shortcuts Cut Us Short: Cognitive Traps in Philanthropic Decision Making

    Decades of research have shown that despite the best of intentions, and even when actionable data are presented at the right time, people do not automatically make good and rational decisions. This brief highlights common cognitive traps that can trip up philanthropic decision making, and suggests straightforward steps to counter them. 

    By Julia Coffman, Tanya Beer

    How Shortcuts Cut Us Short: Cognitive Traps in Philanthropic Decision Making
  • publication Mar 2014

    Evaluation for Strategic Learning: Assessing Readiness and Results

    Evaluation for strategic learning is the use of data and insights from a variety of information-gathering approaches—including evaluation—to inform decision-making about strategy. This brief explores organizational preparedness and situational suitability for evaluation that supports strategic learning, and how to understand if this type of evaluation is working.  

    Evaluation for Strategic Learning: Assessing Readiness and Results
  • publication Jan 2014

    Monitoring and Evaluation for Human Rights Organizations: Three Case Studies

    The promotion and protection of human rights around the world is driven by principles of transparency and accountability. These same principles drive monitoring and evaluation (M&E) efforts. Yet, conceptual, capacity, and cultural barriers often discourage the use of M&E in human rights work. This brief offers concrete examples of how to tackle the unique challenges of evaluating human rights work.

    Monitoring and Evaluation for Human Rights Organizations: Three Case Studies
  • publication Nov 2013

    Pathways for Change: 10 Theories to Inform Advocacy and Policy Change Efforts

    One of our most popular publications, this brief, produced in collaboration with ORS Impact, summarizes 10 theories grounded in social science about how policy change happens. The theories can help to untangle beliefs and assumptions about the inner workings of the policymaking process and identify causal connections supported by research to explain how and why a change may or may not occur.

    Pathways for Change: 10 Theories to Inform Advocacy and Policy Change Efforts