Current Focus Areas
Advocacy & Policy
Much of our work historically has been focused on advocacy evaluation. We are helping to advance this emerging field, building on the tremendous growth that has occurred in recent years. We are working with many pioneering and creative advocates, evaluators, and funders who are fueling the field’s growth and, like us, are committed to growing it through collaboration.
We are contributing to ideas about how to evaluate systems building or systems change efforts, specifically those to improve systems that deliver programs and direct services. Systems change is complex and hard to measure. It involves multiple programs and players and features outcomes at multiple levels. It also involves numerous public or private funding streams administered through different agencies and decision-making structures, which requires aligning goals and coordinating actions across programs with different political cultures.
Evaluation to support strategic learning is an approach we are helping to grow. This approach developed in response to the fact that more nonprofits and foundations are becoming socially innovative, tackling difficult and often deep-rooted problems with ambitious ideas that challenge the status quo and require transformative solutions. This has meant a surge in requests for evaluations of strategies that are often complicated—with multiple causal paths or ways of achieving outcomes, and complex—they emerge over time, with specific goals and activities that develop while the strategy is being implemented.