Rochester Effectiveness Partnership
The Rochester Effectiveness Partnership, REP, was initiated in the summer of 1996 and completed in December of 2003 in Rochester, NY. Throughout, it was a self-governing partnership of funders, non-profit service provider organizations and evaluation professionals committed to increasing knowledge and use of participatory program evaluation through comprehensive training and guided evaluation projects.
166 individuals including 2 evaluation professionals, 14 funding organizations and 32 social service provider organizations were part of the REP experience. The Rochester Grantmakers Forum housed the initiative and provided administrative support while the Advertising Council of Rochester provided guidance in strategic communications.
The REP model consisted of the following components:
- Collaborative funding
- Rigorous selection process
- 30 hours of training with specific curriculum
- Coached evaluation projects
- Study groups
- Governance meetings
- One-on-one consultations
- Community training
- Formal evaluation of the project
Rigorous selection process
A team of REP partners created an application and interview process for each phase of the project that led directly to the selection of new non-profit service provider partners. There were 7 REP classes during the projects lifetime; each class had between 4 and 6 partner organizations.
30 hours of training with specific curriculum
The evaluation partners developed a curriculum and provided classroom training for at least two and up to four program staff from each non-profit service provider partner. Attendance at these sessions was required.
Each partner organization was represented on the Governance Team which met regularly to make management decisions as well as to discuss areas of common and community concerns.
All partners had access to up to five hours of consultation time from the evaluation partners on issues related to the use of evaluation in their individual organizations.
REP was a partner in many community-wide activities such as participating in sessions for the United Way educational conferences, facilitating a process to develop a common logic model tool for Rochester and bringing in nationally recognized speakers such as Michael Quinn Patton.
Formal evaluation of the project
The Governance Team designed an evaluation plan for each phase. During Phase II this included commissioning an external evaluation from Innovation Network. Reports from the Phase II and Phase III evaluation are available.