Search Results

Showing 13-22 of 22

  • 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 May 2013

    Eyes Wide Open: Learning as Strategy Under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty

    How can foundations avoid the traps that sabotage their learning and hamper their ability to guide strategy in complex contexts? This article explores a series of self-created “traps," including 1) linearity and certainty bias; 2) the autopilot effect; and 3) indicator blindness.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman

    Eyes Wide Open: Learning as Strategy Under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty
  • publication Mar 2013

    The Art of the Nudge: Five Practices for Developmental Evaluators

    Conventional program evaluation is a poor fit for the uncertain and emergent nature of innovative and complex initiatives. Developmental evaluation offers an alternative. This article offers five practices to help developmental evaluators detect and support opportunities for learning and adaptation leading to right-timed feedback.

    By Tanya Beer

    The Art of the Nudge: Five Practices for Developmental Evaluators
  • publication Nov 2012

    Evaluation for Models and Adaptive Initiatives

    This Foundation Review article outlines the difference between evaluation for two main types of grantmaking programs: models, which provide replicable or semi-standardized solutions, and adaptive initiatives, which are flexible programming strategies used to address problems that require unique, context-based solutions. 

    By Julia Coffman

    Evaluation for Models and Adaptive Initiatives
  • publication Aug 2012

    Evaluating Social Innovation

    Common evaluation approaches and practices can constrain the kind of continuous learning and adaptation that is necessary for innovation. This brief offers lessons about an emerging evaluation approach—developmental evaluation—which supports the adaptation that is so crucial to innovation.

    By Tanya Beer

    Evaluating Social Innovation
  • publication Jul 2011

    Evaluation to Support Strategic Learning: Principles and Practices

    Strategic learning refers to efforts to incorporate reliable data and ongoing reflection into social change strategies. This brief digs into the definition of strategic learning. It explores how evaluation can support it, and proposes a set of principles that represent the “non-negotiables” of evaluation for strategic learning. 

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman

    Evaluation to Support Strategic Learning: Principles and Practices
  • publication Nov 2010

    Social Movements and Philanthropy: How Foundations Can Support Movement Building

    Movement building presents unique challenges for foundations. Because movements, by definition, must be driven by the people who are most affected, foundations cannot pre-determine their goals and timetables. This Foundation Review article describes how to support and evaluate social movements, including outlining core elements to movement building and proposing an evaluative framework. 

    Social Movements and Philanthropy: How Foundations Can Support Movement Building
  • publication Oct 2010

    Measuring Change while Changing Measures: Learning in, and from, the Evaluation of Making Connections

    Making Connections was an ambitious, multi-site, decade-long community change effort supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. It started in 1999 and aimed to improve outcomes for vulnerable children by transforming their neighborhoods. This teaching case focuses on the evaluation choices and challenges of this long-term comprehensive community change initiative.

    Measuring Change while Changing Measures: Learning in, and from, the Evaluation of Making Connections
  • publication May 2008

    Death Is Certain. Strategy Isn’t.

    For many in philanthropy, the word “strategy” has come to imply a de rigueur set of formal and sequential steps: research, analysis and development of a theory of change, and identification and tracking of outputs and outcomes. This teaching case about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s work to improve end‐of‐life care in America is about an alternative approach to linear conceptions of strategy.

    Death Is Certain. Strategy Isn’t.
  • publication Apr 2003

    Changing Stakeholder Needs and Changing Evaluator Roles: The Central Valley Partnership of the James Irvine Foundation

    Research frequently has shown that internally useful evaluation is difficult to achieve unless a program is "evaluable." A culture that is open to and supports evaluation and accountability is a prerequisite for achieving evaluability. This teaching case explores the process for creating such a culture.

    Changing Stakeholder Needs and Changing Evaluator Roles: The Central Valley Partnership of the James Irvine Foundation