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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.