Search Results

Showing 13-22 of 22

  • 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 Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman

    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 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
  • presentation Dec 2012

    Strategy Implementation Addressing the Disconnect between Decisions and Data: 2012 Evaluation Roundtable Convening

    Drawing on benchmarking data gathered from the Evaluation Roundtable network, this presentation examines organizational barriers to learning from strategies, warns against cognitive traps that hinder learning and decision-making, and describes approaches to avoid or counteract those traps. It explores how the culture and role of evaluation in foundations can disconnect learning from strategy.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman

    Strategy Implementation Addressing the Disconnect between Decisions and Data: 2012 Evaluation Roundtable Convening
  • publication Oct 2012

    Strategic Learning in Practice: Tools to Create the Space & Structure for Learning

    Evaluation that supports strategic learning applies evaluation findings as well as non-evaluation data in order to improve strategy. This brief describes practical steps for designing and using theories of change and strategic learning debriefs as tools for creating the space and structure required for strategic learning. 

    Strategic Learning in Practice: Tools to Create the Space & Structure for Learning
  • 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 Sep 2011

    Advocacy Evaluation Case Study: The Chalkboard Project

    An evaluation of a civic engagement and advocacy effort in Oregon offered an opportunity to incorporate both retrospective and prospective approaches and new advocacy evaluation tools. It is a case example of how evaluation can support strategic learning among advocates.

    Advocacy Evaluation Case Study: The Chalkboard Project
  • publication Sep 2011

    Evaluation of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Preschool for California’s Children Grantmaking Program

    This teaching case focuses on an evaluation that aimed for real-time strategic learning over the course of a 10-year initiative. It chronicles the challenges with achieving that while the strategy shifted and evaluators grappled with how to provide information that was of real value to the work. 

    Evaluation of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Preschool for California’s Children Grantmaking Program
  • 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