Complex Social Change
We are drawn to strategies that are complex and messy. We get excited about systems thinking. We work on strategies that are complicated, with multiple causal paths or ways of achieving outcomes, or complex and emergent, with goals and activities that develop while the strategy is being implemented. Our aim is to make evaluation and learning an integral part of this work, supporting it as it evolves.
Foundation Evaluation and Learning
Evaluation and learning practice in foundations regularly evolves in response to individual foundation or sector-level shifts. We research this evolving practice and devote a big part of our work to helping shape it. We do much of this through the Evaluation Roundtable, where we introduce cutting-edge ideas, seed peer relationships, promote common standards and norms, and support the foundation leaders who guide this work.
Advocacy & Public Policy
We were founded to help advance the advocacy evaluation field and we remain deeply committed to this goal. Advocacy strategy is dynamic and can be unpredictable. Assessing progress is challenging and capturing meaningful outcomes requires creativity, flexibility, and paying close attention to context. We develop advocacy evaluation theory, methods, and tools, and apply them in our evaluation practice.
We see learning as distinct from evaluation, and have a deep body of work devoted to supporting more effective learning for organizations, teams, and individuals. Ensuring people learn is not simply a technical challenge solved by having the right tool, the right template, or even the right data. We view learning as a practice, a way of thinking and working, a set of capacities and habits that must be integrated into our day-to-day work.