Need practical how-to info that aims to help you build your evaluation capacity? This collection includes suggested readings from our friends at BetterEvaluation, the Center for Evaluation Innovation, the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations as well as hand-picked content by Candid. Thousands of actual evaluations are  available for download.

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"GenY Unfocus Group - KP Digital Health 47613" by Ted Eytan licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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MEL Practice at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation: Evaluation in Support of Moving from Good to Great

January 31, 2019

In early 2017, ORS Impact evaluated and re-examined the David and Lucile Packard Foundation monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) principles and practice. The purpose of this evaluation was to discover what works well, identify areas for improvement, and stimulate reflection and experimentation. While this report uncovered many examples of strong MEL practice across the Foundation it also highlighted opportunities for improvement. Research findings fed into Foundation decisions to update both internal and external MEL processes and requirements, including refinement of the Foundation's Guiding Principles for MEL.A key audience of this report include readers wrestling with how to best support MEL in philanthropic settings so that it can support greater learning and impact, such as MEL staff working inside foundations and external evaluators working with foundations.

A Handbook of Data Collection Tools: Companion to "A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy"

May 21, 2012

This handbook of data collection tools is intended to serve as a companion to A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy. Organizational Research Services (ORS) developed this guide on behalf of the Annie E. Casey Foundation to support efforts to develop and implement an evaluation of advocacy and policy work. The companion handbook is dedicated to providing examples of practical tools and processes for collecting useful information from policy and advocacy efforts. Included within this handbook are a legislative process tracking log, a meeting observation checklist, a policy brief stakeholder survey, a policy tracking analysis tool, and a policy tracking form.This best practice provides an approach to measure advocacy and policy change efforts, starting with a theory of change, identifying outcome categories, and selecting practical approaches to measurement.

Guidelines and Best Practices; Tools and Frameworks

Campaign Champions Data Collection Tool

December 5, 2007

This is a tool that measures strengthened base of public support. This form tracks and measures the number of "champions" (people who take actions to advance the public will) engaged and the actions these champions undertake as a part of the Born Learning campaign.

A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy

February 20, 2007

The overall purpose of this guide is twofold. To help grantmakers think about and talk about measurement of advocacy and policy, this guide puts forth a framework for naming outcomes associated with advocacy and policy work as well as directions for evaluation design. The framework is intended to provide a common way to identify and talk about outcomes, providing philanthropic and non-profit audiences an opportunity to react to, refine and adopt the outcome categories presented. In addition, grantmakers can consider some key directions for evaluation design that include a broad range of methodologies, intensities, audiences, timeframes and purposes. Included in the guide are a tool to measure improved policies, a tool to measure a strengthened base of public support, and a survey to measure community members' perceptions about the prioritization of issues.

Guidelines and Best Practices