publication Sep 2023
Using Developmental Evaluation to Support Adaptive Strategies: An Application from a Social Change Initiative
The chapter, authored by and written from the perspective of both strategists and evaluators, describes the methods used, how the evaluation informed strategy, and reections and lessons on the developmental evaluation experience and approach.
publication Jul 2022
A Tool for Systems Change that Supports Learning in Foundations
Foundations are systems. They have their own cultures and related assumptions, norms, standards, and practices. We encourage foundations to take stock of their learning needs with a dispassionate (evaluative) look at themselves as systems and how people work within them.
publication Nov 2021
We need to articulate our assumptions so that we can test them. Here’s a guide to help.
This four-page guidance defines assumptions, explains why it is critical to articulate them, and then offers a set of prompting questions to help elicit them. Examples are included.
publication Aug 2021
Holding Foundations Accountable for Equity Commitments
Philanthropy needs to transform the structures and processes through which foundations hold power, including how they conceive of and operationalize accountability through their approaches to strategy development, evaluation, and grantee reporting and monitoring.
publication Apr 2021
Approaches to Learning Amid Crises: Reflections from Philanthropy
Explore how foundations’ approaches to learning shaped their responses to the crises of 2020. In interviews with seven foundations from Canada and the U.S. in the summer and fall of 2020, the authors applied the lens of organizational learning to how each of these foundations made sense of their reality, asked different kinds of questions to inform their thinking, and acted in new or different ways as a result.
publication Jan 2021
Co-creating our story: A hybrid participatory case approach to evaluating and accelerating organizational change
This brief describes an evaluative approach we took to an organizational change process at a foundation that could be useful to evaluators.
insight Aug 2020
Can Foundations Radically Transform How They Learn?
In 2020, we are seeing some fundamental shifts in how foundations are operating and attempting to learn. How might we use our experience right now to understand something new about the organizational and sector conditions that are necessary to make real and honest learning and adaptation possible and in service to equity?
presentation Jul 2020
Re-Thinking How We Work with Boards on Evaluation and Learning
Most board room routines are based on the mental model that social change is a technocratic problem-solving endeavor. So we incentivize and reward staff who project a degree of certainty about how social change happens that's just not real because the change process is much more complex.
publication Mar 2020
Even when evidence is available in the social sector, it is rarely used. A number of tools and tactics can help us become savvier consumers of information.
publication Jan 2020
Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices 2020
What does foundation evaluation look like today? Is it adapting to meet the changing needs of the sector and society?