BrunFnd label BrunFnd label BrunFnd label Effectiveness Initiatives
BrunFnd label Effectiveness Initiatives
  • Building Evaluation Capacity

    Evaluation is a process that applies systematic inquiry to program management, improvement, and decision making. Evaluation is also used to assess the status or progress of a strategy (i.e., a group of meaningfully connected programs, not just the simple aggregation of multiple programs) or an initiative (a grouping of strategies). Evaluation Capacity is the ability of staff and their organizations to do evaluation. Because evaluation is systematic, it involves proficiency in a particular set of skills. These are skills which can be developed and enhanced through a variety of capacity building strategies:

    Featured Video -- Building Evaluation Capacity in Organizations

    Evaluation is an active, dynamic process. It is the ability to do evaluation—to assess what is taking place with a program, a strategy, or an initiative—that allows an organization to use data to inform its decision making. For evaluation to be relevant, it must respond to important questions, be accurate and timely, and provide a springboard for action.

    Internal evaluation capacity allows organizations to conduct better evaluations, to work and/or partner with external evaluation professionals and/or to commission stronger, more useful evaluations.

    Evaluation capacity used well leads to programs, strategies, and initiatives that allow organizations to better deliver on their missions and to better meet the needs of those they serve.

    Featured projects include:

    Featured Resources

    1. Five Guidebooks for Grantmakers newly released in 2011, these concise guides provide resources for developing and expanding the use of evaluation and evaluative thinking in Grantmaking organizations.

    2. Participatory Evaluation Essentials: An Updated Guide for Nonprofit Organizations and Their Evaluation Partners - Newly released in 2010, this manual provides a detailed curriculum for building participatory evaluation capacity

    3. Participatory Evaluation Essentials - A PowerPoint presentation which can be used in conjunction with our written manual

    4. Evaluation Capacity and Evaluative Thinking in Organizations - a monograph describing what the Foundation learned during the last decade through the Rochester Effective Partnership (REP) and Evaluative Thinking in Organizations (ETHOS) initiatives published in March, 2006

    5. Conducting an Evaluation Inventory - this grid is a way to document evaluation activity in an organization. It includes an example of a actual inventory conducted by a REP partner.