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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Framework for Program Assessments

December 2, 2014

For the past two years, we've been collaborating with our assessment partners to establish a benchmark against which the performance of any student, school or region can be mapped. The scale leverages a nationwide, representative sample of learning competencies prevalent across different school systems. And yet our commitment to evolving and implementing rigorous learning assessment frameworks has never been an end in itself: our primary goal is to use the data and insights to improve learning outcomes.Our work in education assessments—and the benefcial work being done by others in the field—will be most useful if communicated to the broader education community in India. Our assessment partners have prepared reports and conducted workshops to share their findings and explain how our investees can best bring about change in the classroom to enhance academic outcomes.

Evaluation in Foundations; Tools and Frameworks

Evaluating Networks for Social Change: A Casebook - Part 2 of a Guide to Network Evaluation

July 30, 2014

The casebook is part 2 of of a guide to network evaluation. This document provides profiles of nine evaluations that detail key questions, methodologies, implementation and results while expanding what is known about assessment approaches that fit how networks develop and function. It was written as a complement to a framing paper: The State of Network Evaluation, which offers the field's current thinking on frameworks, approaches and tools to address practical questions about designing and funding network evaluations.What will I learn in the guide?· How an evaluation can help a network function more effectively and promote network health· Elements of a network that can be evaluated· Approaches, methods and tools for evaluating networks· How to design a network evaluation that fits the? network type and investment (e.g., size, stage of development; issue focus)· Key questions to ask in a network evaluation· Examples of network evaluations and what has been learned from them

Guidelines and Best Practices; Tools and Frameworks

Framing Paper: The State of Network Evaluation

July 30, 2014

This document is Part 1 of a Guide to Network Evaluation and offers the field's current thinking on frameworks, approaches and tools to address practical questions about designing and funding network evaluations. It was developed along with a casebook Evaluating Networks for Social Change: A Casebook that provides profiles of nine evaluations that detail key questions, methodologies, implementation and results while expanding what is known about assessment approaches that fit how networks develop and function. What will you learn in the guide? · How an evaluation can help a network function more effectively and promote network health · Elements of a network that can be evaluated · Approaches, methods and tools for evaluating networks · How to design a network evaluation that fits the? network type and investment (e.g., size, stage of development; issue focus) · Key questions to ask in a network evaluation · Examples of network evaluations and what has been learned from them

Tools and Frameworks

Four Essentials for Evaluation

May 30, 2012

GEO created this guide to help grantmakers get to the next level in their evaluation efforts. The target audience is champions and supporters of evaluation who want to embed these practices more deeply in the work of their organizations.The term "evaluation" can refer to a lot of different activities, including data collection, information gathering and research about grantmaker-supported activities. GEO's emphasis, however, is on "evaluation for learning."Evaluation is about more than ensuring that grantees are doing what they promise, or that a specific program area at a foundation is meeting its goals. Rather, it's about advancing knowledge and understanding among grantmakers, their grantees and their partners about what's working, what's not and how to improve their performance over time.Using evaluation in this way requires grantmakers to transform themselves into learning organizations. Beyond getting smarter about specific evaluation methods and approaches, this means adopting a continuous process, a culture and a commitment to support the capacity of people to see patterns and insights that can lead to ever-improving results.

Guidelines and Best Practices; Must-Reads; Tools and Frameworks

Breakthroughs in Shared Measurement and Social Impact

July 23, 2009

A surprising new breakthrough is emerging in the social sector: A handful of innovative organizations have developed web-based systems for reporting the performance, measuring the outcomes, and coordinating the efforts of hundreds or even thousands of social enterprises within a field. These nascent efforts carry implications well beyond performance measurement, foreshadowing the possibility of profound changes in the vision and effectiveness of the entire nonprofit sector. This paper, based on six months of interviews and research by FSG Social Impact Advisors, examines twenty efforts to develop shared approaches to performance, outcome, or impact measurement across multiple organizations. The accompanying appendices include a short description of each system and four more in-depth case studies.

Guidelines and Best Practices

Measuring Success: How the Robin Hood Foundation Estimates the Impact of Grants

November 12, 2007

This tool calculates a benefit/cost ratio for a Robin Hood program, whose goal is to eradicate poverty in New York City. It does so by applying a common measure of success for programs of all types: how much a grant to a program boosts the future earnings (or, more generally, living standards) of poor families above that which they would have earned in the absence of Robin Hood's help. It then divides the estimated earnings boost by the size of Robin Hood's grant. The ratio for each grant measures the value it delivers to poor people per dollar of cost to Robin Hood.

Guidelines and Best Practices; Tools and Frameworks

Social Impact Assessment: A Discussion Among Grantmakers

March 26, 2003

This is a best practice that provides the following guidelines a) conceptual: funders and grantees should align goals, assessment tools, and best practices b) operational: grantees and investors should acknowledge evaluation expenses as part of the cost of doing business, invest in measurement systems and tools, and develop examples of proven impact c) structural: each field and subfield should explore a range of possible outcome goals and best practices for measurement d) practical: a commitment to outcomes assessment can be a fundamental part of the management structure and organizational culture among funders and nonprofits.

Evaluation in Foundations; Guidelines and Best Practices