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Greater Hartford Reentry Welcome Center: Year Three Evaluation September 17, 2020-September 17, 2021

September 22, 2022

This is the third in a series of evaluation reports for a three-year formative evaluation of the Greater Hartford Reentry Welcome Center (GH-RWC) comprising both process and outcome findings. The purpose of this formative evaluation is to identify what is and what is not working well and to provide strategic recommendations for areas needing improvement and to leverage emergent promising practices. This Year Three report provides the data and findings from CPA's RWC database, observations, surveys, and interviews for the period starting September 17, 2020 through September 17, 2021. The report also includes supplemental findings for the first two quarters of 2022, as the GH-RWC administration began to expand staffing and programming, and to prepare for moving to a new location that could accommodate the growth of the Center. The challenges that were experienced in Years Two and Three are being actively addressed by CPA, so many of the recommendations listed in the Year Three evaluation are already underway in Year Four.

Urban Resilience: From Global Vision to Local Practice - Final Outcome Evaluation of the 100 Resilient Cities Program

September 15, 2022

Summer hailstorms in Mexico City, weeks-long heat waves in India, hurricane-force winds off the Great Lakes—extreme weather events are becoming commonplace, testing the resilience of local and regional governments across the world. But urban resilience extends beyond weathering climate shocks. It also entails maintaining and improving infrastructure, ecology, economy, and community at the city level.For six years, from 2013 to 2019, the 100 Resilient Cities program sought to boost the capacity of local governments across all facets of urban resilience. Although the program ended earlier than anticipated, its unprecedented breadth of participating cities and scope of intervention provided potential lessons for cities across the world as they prepare for and face an increasingly uncertain future.KEY TAKEAWAYSThe 100 Resilient Cities program included three cohorts of cities from across the globe, each of which experienced three interventions to improve city governance operational and planning capacity for resilience: the creation and selection of a Chief Resilience Officer, the development and publication of a resilience strategy, and the implementation of that strategy, with technical support provided by the program. The Urban Institute monitored and evaluated the core features of the 100 Resilient Cities program for almost seven years, with this final report focusing on the outcomes for city planning and operations attributable to interventions across a 21-city sample. From this program, we believe the following lessons learned can help cities improve their resilience moving forward.Cities must focus on chronic social vulnerability in addition to unexpected shocks. Although cities must be prepared for extreme weather events and civil unrest, both of which can cause extreme devastation, they must also address ongoing issues, such as failing infrastructure and health care accessibility.Chief Resilience Officers and robust networks can facilitate city-to-city learning. As with any program, collaboration and sharing of knowledge can benefit all parties involved. The network of Chief Resilience Officers could advocate for successful resilience strategies from other cities, which could lead to more collaboration in local governments and across regions.Resilient governance requires more voices to be involved in planning and development. Foregrounding inclusion and equity is crucial for building resilience, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to many underlying systemic inequities in countries across the world.Resilience building takes a long time. Despite the necessary urgency of building resilience, solutions take a long time to implement and need consistent funding and support to fulfill their potential. When the 100 Resilient Cities program ended early, many cities had developed plans and strategies but lost the support that would have helped them enact those solutions. Ongoing political and funder support is critical for long-term resilience.

Funding Narrative Change, An Assessment and Framework

September 7, 2022

Narrative change has become a popular focus with growing urgency to change public narratives around issues like racial justice, health equity, abortion rights, and rights for trans people. But because this area of work is relatively new for funders, the work is often siloed, leading to a lack of meaningful results. This report's authors propose a framework for funders and practitioners to shift narratives via mass culture, mass media, and mass movements.

Insights from Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts OE-EID Grants

August 31, 2022

In 2019, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Performing Arts Program, in collaboration with a community advisory council, awarded a round of 39 grants to support Bay Area performing arts organizations in building their capacity around equity, inclusion, and diversity (referred to as the Organizational Effectiveness - Equity, Inclusion and Diversity or OE-EID grants) through a participatory grantmaking process.To reflect on this round of grants, the Performing Arts Program engaged Community Wealth Partners to conduct an assessment. The assessment process engaged a group of 10 leaders whose organizations had received an OE-EID grant as a grantee learning team to make meaning of data from grant reports and develop recommendations for the foundation based on the data and their own experiences. The Performing Arts Program and Community Wealth Partners chose this approach because it would focus on the perspectives of grantees, yield more detailed information about grantees' experiences than what was included in the grant reports, and create an opportunity for two-way conversation between the Performing Arts Program and grantees about promising practices and implications for the future.This document shares quantitative findings from a review of 26 final grant reports1 (from the 39 grants made) as well as insights and recommendations that came out of the work of the grantee learning team.

Strengthening Domestic Violence Services for Deaf Survivors: An Evaluation of Barrier Free Living’s Deaf Services Program

August 25, 2022

More than 11 million people in the United States are Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, or Deaf-Blind. Research indicates deaf people report experiencing victimization at higher rates, but a lack of accessible resources and trauma-informed services for American Sign Language (ASL) speakers makes it difficult for deaf people to report crimes and access support. In response to these issues, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in 2017 began funding Barrier Free Living (BFL), a provider of services for survivors of domestic violence and their families, to increase access to direct services for deaf survivors and increase local stakeholders' awareness of deaf survivors' needs through its Deaf Services (DS) program.In 2019, Urban, in collaboration with Gallaudet University and NORC at the University of Chicago, began a multimethod process evaluation of BFL's DS program to document its implementation and assess to what extent it achieved its intended goals. 

Some Lessons from Participatory Grantmaking and Meditations on Power for the Field

July 26, 2022

In 2019, the Fund for Shared Insight, a national funder collaborative seeking to improve philanthropy by promoting high-quality listening and feedback in service of equity, created a participatory process of design, grantmaking, and implementation. The full initiative is still underway, but at this moment, we, Shared Insight's learning and evaluation partner, want to reflect on and share back what we are learning from extant data review, observations of meetings and events, conversations with staff, and data collected at up to three time points from those involved in the participatory processes. While there are many useful lessons to learn about how to do participatory grantmaking and what was learned specifically around issues of climate for people in the regions of focus, one of our unique areas of inquiry was to hear directly from those involved about how they felt about shifts in power through the process. We noticed some divergence in perspectives that we thought worthy of exploration. Given the focus on learning from this work, this report is less a full accounting of all lessons and outcomes and more a deeper look to help the funder collaborative and the field grapple with questions around power based on the lessons from this participatory grantmaking initiative.

Using Tenant-based Housing Vouchers to Help End Homelessness in Los Angeles, 2016-2020

July 13, 2022

As part of the larger evaluation of the Hilton Foundation's Homelessness initiative, Abt Associates examined how effective the Los Angeles region's public housing authorities (PHAs) have been in using vouchers to help people leave homelessness, the extent to which voucher holders succeed in using the vouchers, the locations where they use vouchers, and the implications for the PHAs' programs—who they serve and at what cost. This study focuses on 2016 through early 2020, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Making sense of a strategy that never was: Lessons from an OSF program

June 13, 2022

The Economic Justice Program (EJP) of the Open Society Foundations ran from 2018 until the end of December 2021. During this time EJP developed the Foundations' first-ever strategy dedicated to fighting economic injustice and advanced approaches to good grantmaking for social change. Due to organizational changes, the strategy was never implemented as designed. But it was successful by many other measures; in the words of one staff member: "Despite numerous moments when many of us (definitely me) wondered if it might not actually be possible, we truly became a team, with a strategy and a culture we all believed in."  This brief summarizes the lessons learnt along the way, offering both insights from experience and practical tools for strategy design. Our aim in sharing these lessons is to equip funders and civil society organizations to embrace complexity and to inspire deeper engagement with culture, communications, and other key elements that are critical to bringing any strategy to life

Walton Family Foundation COVID Relief Fund Evaluation Final Report

June 13, 2022

In March 2020, the Walton Family Foundation established an emergency grant fund to quickly deploy resources to grantees and communities in response to the significant and evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $35 million fund was designed to support organizations across all three of WFF's Program Areas (Education, Environment, and Home Region).The Foundation's Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Department (SLED) and Public Profit, an evaluation and strategy firm, conducted a retrospective evaluation to learn more about the experience of the emergency grantmaking process and the impact of the COVID Relief Fund grants on grantees and communities. 

Race, Place and Power: Learnings from the Ford Foundation’s Just Cities and Regions Program

April 28, 2022

Housing insecurity is a challenge affecting the lives of far too many in the United States. After decades of work in the housing sector, we formalized the Just Cities and Regions (JCR) program in 2015 amidst a moment of growing racial and income inequality, increasing housing insecurity, and an accelerating climate crisis with disparate impacts. The strategy shifted from one based in 10 metro regions to one that aimed to bring about more systemic change across the country.JCR worked to integrate distinct dimensions necessary to winning change at scale by:Building community- and people-centered grassroots power through integrated civic engagement strategiesGrounding those strategies in the leadership and vision of communities disproportionately impacted, anchored by an ecosystem of strong, networked social movement infrastructureFocusing on creating systems-level interventions rather than public policy reform or near-term "fixes"Supporting relationship-based and long-term co-governance by communities and those in public leadership rolesWe sunset the JCR program at the end of 2021. In this reflection, we share our lessons throughout our history of investment.

Evaluation of the Hewlett Foundation’s Sub-Strategy to Support Local Family Planning and Reproductive Health Advocacy in Sub-Saharan Africa

March 10, 2022

In 2016, the Hewlett Foundation launched its international reproductive health strategy to support local advocacy in sub-Saharan Africa. This strategy continued the foundation's focus on ensuring that women can decide whether and when to have children. The strategy had an ambitious goal: A vibrant sector of local civil society organizations (CSOs) in sub-Saharan Africa that can capably and positively influence the family planning and reproductive health (FPRH) policies and funding decisions of their own national governments and of international donors. To contribute towards this goal, the strategy was grounded in five principles that the foundation expected would inform its own practices as well as the practices of grantees and their CSO partners:Support local advocacy priorities while seeking opportunities to connect these to global advocacy efforts,Strengthen and provide more hands-on and sustained technical assistance tailored to each organization,Support longer-term advocacy partnerships that strengthen and support local advocacy capacity,Encourage mutual accountability among all parties: funders, intermediaries, and local partners, andMeasure progress, document, adapt and share what is learned.The foundation commissioned a five-year developmental evaluation to identify and share emergent lessons about this "principles-based approach" throughout the process of strategy implementation. In this report, we summarize key findings, lessons, and recommendations from the final data collection period of this learning and evaluation process (September 2020 - July 2021). Our analysis draws on interviews with the foundation's grantees and their CSO partners, foundation staff, civil society leaders in Africa, and peer funders, as well as a "context review" of trends and developments in the broader philanthropic and international development field in which the strategy was situated.

Greater Hartford Reentry Welcome Center: Year Two Evaluation September 17, 2019-September 17, 2020

September 22, 2021

The Greater Hartford Reentry Welcome Center (GH-RWC), located at Hartford City Hall, serves as a centralized hub for anyone with a history of incarceration to receive basic information and assistance, and referrals to other essential services in the Greater Hartford region. The Reentry Welcome Center Program prioritizes care continuity and ongoing case management services for people who are released from prison or jail at the end of their sentence. The goals of this process evaluation report are to document the successes and challenges of implementing the GH-RWC in its second year of operation from September 17, 2019 to September 17, 2020.