Evaluative Thinking is a type of reflective practice that uses evaluation skills** in areas other than programs and initiatives, such as human resources, technology, and fund development. It is an approach that fully integrates systematic questioning, data collection and analysis, and action into an organization’s work practices.
Building a culture where evaluation skills are used in areas other than program development, delivery and modification is a critical component of organizational effectiveness. Evaluative Thinking can contribute to improved learning and decision making. It is grounded in the same approach as evaluation: Better planning and decision making happen when they are based on systematically collected data.
**asking questions of substance, determining what data are required to answer specific questions, collecting data using appropriate strategies, analyzing collected data/summarizing findings, using/sharing findings
Featured projects include:
- Evaluative Thinking in Philanthropy (E-TIP), 2010
- Evaluative Thinking in Organizations Study (ETHOS) - 2003
- Integrating Evaluative Capacity into Organizational Practice 2012
This manual offers concrete ways to integrate evaluation skills and evaluative thinking, beyond the program level, into everyday organizational practice, helping to ensure stronger programs and to support more effective organizations that are better able to deliver on their missions. The new guide also includes a review of Evaluation Essentials and Appendices for how to use an evaluative thinking assessment tool and how to commission evaluation.
Hebrew version also available.
- Indicators of Evaluative Thinking
Originally developed in 2006 as part of the Evaluative Thinking In Organizations Study/ETHOS and updated in 2011, this list of 15 organization areas (from communications to staff development to technology acquisition) provides a simple way to look at the presence of evaluative thinking.
- Evaluative Thinking Assessment Tool - A series of tools developed in 2005 and revised in 2010 to assess the extent to which evaluative thinking is present in various organizational capacities such as strategic planning, governance, human resources, marketing and communications.
- Example: Evaluative Thinking Assessment Report
- Evaluation Capacity and Evaluative Thinking in Organizations - published in 2006, a monograph describing what the Foundation learned during the last decade through the Rochester Effective Partnership (REP) and Evaluative Thinking in Organizations (ETHOS) initiative