The process of improving the relevance, quality or efficiency existing model, program or strategy is a form of incremental innovation that all change-makers should be capable of integrating into their work if and when their aim is truly 'incremental' innovation.  This short piece summarizes the basic ideas of 'continuous improvement'...

For over a decade, developmental evaluation has been useful for innovators trying to make a difference in the world. The Developmental Evaluation Companion – finalized in 2021 with the support of the J.W. McConnel Family Foundation – provides a high level update on the approach based that is ready for...

The collective impact framework has been adopted by countless social innovators across the world as a way for diverse people, organizations and sectors to work together to move the needle on complex challenges.  In this article published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review,  Sylvia Cheuy, Liz Weaver and Mark Cabaj...

Intermediary organizations can amplify the efforts of on-the-ground social innovators to tackle complex issues in a variety of ways: e.g., help coordinate their efforts, create or enhance different capabilities (e.g., evaluation, social finance, leadership ), develop, test and - if possible - scale promising solutions,  as well as "do whatever...

The ability of those eager to make progress on the world’s most pressing challenges – climate change, economic inequities, racism - depends on their ability to innovate, change systems and transform the deeper worldviews that help keep stubborn problems in place. Yet, the effort of change-makers is often hampered by...

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,...

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...

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....

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...

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....