Testing Evaluation Practices

Improving the probabilities that innovators  embrace evaluation practices and findings is a constant challenge.  One of the reasons for this is that many people rush to create and formalize ‘big’ evaluation designs and hope that decision-makers will embrace the evaluation findings when they eventually emerge down the road.   This linear,…

The Tyranny of Metrics

Performance and outcome metrics are a central element of most evaluations. However, they are often so mis-used  that they provide misleading picture of what is really happening on the ground, which in turn can lead to terrible decisions. This engaging and easy to read book, Tyranny of Metrics, describes how…

Outcome Harvesting

It is notoriously difficult to track and assess initiatives to tackle complex issues that unfold over time, with diverse actors, and whose primary aim is to change systems.  In his new book, Outcome Harvesting, Ricardo Wilson-Grau provides an exciting and practical path forward.

Principles for Evaluating Systems Change

Every effort to change the systems that hold tough economic, social and environmental problems in place is unique and requires a customized strategy. Therefore, any evaluation to evaluate a systems change effort requires an equally unique design. There are, however, universal challenges, principles and help practices that are relevant across…

Questions for Evaluating Systems Change

Changing the systems that keep stubborn problems like homelessness or racism in place.  Its easy to talk about. Everyone seems interested. Few people are quite sure what it means or practice or how to evaluate it. This inquiry framework offers one way to think about, plan and evaluate such efforts.