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.