Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact

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A Guide to Actionable Measurement

Offering useful best practices and examples, this guide is the result of a year-long cross-foundation effort to develop common principles,
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Offering useful best practices and examples, this guide is the result of a year-long cross-foundation effort to develop common principles, approaches, and taxonomies to help Gates staff decide how best to allocate time and resources for data collection and analysis. Three principles guide the Gates Foundation's approach to actionable measurement: 1) Measurement should inform specific decisions and/or actions; 2) We do not measure everything, but we do strive to measure what matters most; 3) The data we gather help us learn and adapt our initiatives and strategies. The guide includes a results matrix, results hierarchy, definitions of related terms, and measurement guidelines intended to shape internal decisions about the depth, breadth, and rigor of measurement across grants and within strategies. It also highlights the best practices the Gates Foundation aspires to follow to be good stewards of our resources and not increase the reporting burden of grantees or distract them from their work.  
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: guide

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Best PracticeGeneral

A Practical Guide for Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation Questions

This practical guide offers best practices that encourage soliciting input from stakeholders early in the evaluation design process to address
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This practical guide offers best practices that encourage soliciting input from stakeholders early in the evaluation design process to address specific stakeholder interests for improving program effectiveness, influencing policy decisions, and instituting behavioral and organizational change. The guide describes a five-step process for engaging stakeholders in developing evaluation questions, and includes four worksheets to facilitate the planning and implementation of a stakeholder engagement process.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide, strategy, worksheet

FSG

Best PracticeGeneral

Assessing and Building Your Organization's Capacity

This best practice provides information and a set of assessment activities that can help an organization better understand its policies and
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This best practice provides information and a set of assessment activities that can help an organization better understand its policies and managerial, financial, and administrative systems. Should you decide to conduct an organizational self-assessment, this chapter provides guidance on how to examine your organization’s assets, such as funding, reputation, and skills, as well as the activities and the services you provide. Taken together this information will help to create a capacity-building action plan, which will enable your organization to more effectively carry out its programs and serve the communities in which you work.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness

Tags: checklist, guide

Capable Partners Program (CAP), NGO Connect

Best PracticeGeneral

Building a Performance Measurement System

This methodology offers a comprehensive, flexible, customizable framework for performance management that can complement planning or strategic
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This methodology offers a comprehensive, flexible, customizable framework for performance management that can complement planning or strategic tools, such as the Theory of Change and logic models. This approach can help streamline existing measurement efforts or provide an efficient approach to building a performance measurement system from the ground up. Root Cause's how-to guide, "Building a Performance Measurement System", describes a five-step process for building or refining a performance measurement system that will serve as an essential tool for assessing an organization’s progress in carrying out its mission and identifying opportunities for improvement.   
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide, worksheet

Root Cause

MethodGeneral

Building Future Leaders Diagnostic Survey

This free diagnostic tool is designed to help social sector leaders assess the strengths and weaknesses of their organization’s leadership
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This free diagnostic tool is designed to help social sector leaders assess the strengths and weaknesses of their organization’s leadership development and succession planning for senior leader positions. The survey includes 31 statements that relate to 5 core processes, including: 1) engagement of current leaders; 2) understanding future needs; 3) developing leaders effectively; 4) hiring leaders externally; and 5) measuring and improving practices. Organizations rate their current performance and receive a diagnostic results report with their own responses as well as the average responses of other survey takers, in order to help identify their organization’s areas for improvement and target their actions accordingly. An accompanying guide, "What’s Your “Plan A” for Growing Future Leaders?" features best practices from the field to help organizations think differently and address leadership development gaps.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness

Tags: guide, ready-to-use, survey

The Bridgespan Group

ToolGeneral

Charity Analysis Framework

The Charity Analysis Framework is a tool that evaluates grantees in the human welfare sector. Its analysis focuses on several criteria within six
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The Charity Analysis Framework is a tool that evaluates grantees in the human welfare sector. Its analysis focuses on several criteria within six key areas: activities, results, leadership, staff and other resources, finances and ambition, in order to answer the following questions: 1) Is the charity tackling the most important issues?; 2) Is it tackling them in ways that make a significant difference?; 3) Has it got ambition, leadership and resources to continue to be effective? The results are also displayed in a Grading Grid, ranging from Excellent to Below Expectations.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: consultant service, framework, guide

New Philanthropy Capital

ToolCommunity,
Education,
Employment...

Cluster Evaluation

This is a best practice that tells foundations to seek feedback across a group of projects or programs to identify common threads and themes that,
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This is a best practice that tells foundations to seek feedback across a group of projects or programs to identify common threads and themes that, having cross-confirmation, take on greater significance. Cluster evaluators provide feedback on commonalities in program design as well as innovative methodologies used by projects during the life of the initiative.  
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Best PracticePhilanthropy

Community of Learners

This best practice is an approach to evaluation that emphasizes a working group of diverse stakeholders who bring different perspectives to the
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This best practice is an approach to evaluation that emphasizes a working group of diverse stakeholders who bring different perspectives to the experience. The process involves 1) assessing organizational readiness to participate in this approach; 2) assembling an evaluation team; 3) assigning roles; 4) assigning consultant responsibilities; and 5) assigning client responsibilities.   
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: guide

TCC Group

Best PracticeGeneral

Community Tool Box

The Community Tool Box is a set of best practices that provides more than 7,000 pages of practical information to support community health and
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The Community Tool Box is a set of best practices that provides more than 7,000 pages of practical information to support community health and development work. The focus is on specific practical skills, such as conducting a meeting or participatory evaluation. The Evaluating the Initiative section provides a framework and guidance for developing an evaluation of a community health program or initiative. The Examples section provides useful case studies showing how various projects and programs have used the resources in the tool box to conduct their own evaluations.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: case study, framework, guide

Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas

Best PracticeCommunity,
Diseases,
Health...

Considering Evaluation

This document provides overall guidance about methods of evaluation and assessment for social justice and movement building work. It includes case
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This document provides overall guidance about methods of evaluation and assessment for social justice and movement building work. It includes case studies and worksheets to help outline an evaluation, starting on p. 11.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: case study, guide, worksheet

ActKnowledge

MethodCivil,
Social

Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best

This best practice provides guidelines on values (e.g., provides at least 50 percent of its grant dollars to benefit lower-income communities,
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This best practice provides guidelines on values (e.g., provides at least 50 percent of its grant dollars to benefit lower-income communities, provides at least 25 percent of its grant dollars for advocacy), effectiveness (e.g., provides at least 50 percent of its grant dollars for general operating support), ethics (maintains an engaged board of at least five people who include among them a diversity of perspectives including of the community it serves and who serve without compensation), and commitment (pays out at least 6 percent of its assets annual in grants, invests at least 25 percent of its assets in ways that support its mission) criteria for evaluating philanthropy. It does not include scoring system, relative weighting system, or ranking.   
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Best PracticePhilanthropy

Developing a Theory of Change

This is a best practice to obtain clarity about what needs to happen to achieve and sustain the changes, or outcomes, that want to be seen (mapping
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This is a best practice to obtain clarity about what needs to happen to achieve and sustain the changes, or outcomes, that want to be seen (mapping the outcome pathways to success) and to identify who (people or institutions) can influence these outcomes positively or negatively (mapping the activity ecosystem). It sets the framework for identifying impact, intermediary outcome and process indicators.  
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide

Keystone Accountability

Best PracticeGeneral

Due Diligence Framework for Scaling Initiatives

The Due Diligence Framework for Scaling Initiatives (beta) provides funders with guidelines and best practices on basic topics to cover when doing
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The Due Diligence Framework for Scaling Initiatives (beta) provides funders with guidelines and best practices on basic topics to cover when doing due diligence on scaling initiative. A supplement for funders assessing the scalability of a program or social investment, the framework is geared toward program replication and practice dissemination models of scaling. Currently in beta, revisions are expected as the framework is reviewed, used, and modified. Additional due diligence frameworks for policy initiatives, systems change efforts, and other models of scaling are also in the works.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide, ready-to-use, survey

Social Impact Exchange, Alliance for Social Investment

Best PracticeGeneral

Evaluating Development Co-Operation

This is a best practice that offers guidance in developing norms and standards for evaluation in an effort to improve humanitarian aid programs
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This is a best practice that offers guidance in developing norms and standards for evaluation in an effort to improve humanitarian aid programs and policy. The approach offers a core set of principles, along with five evaluation criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability, and a framework for peer reviews and assessment.   
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide

OECD DAC Network on Development Evaluation

Best PracticeEnvironment,
Human,
International...

Evaluating the Impact of Development Projects on Poverty: A Handbook for Practitioners

This best practices handbook provides project managers and policy analysts with the tools needed for evaluating project impact. The handbook
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This best practices handbook provides project managers and policy analysts with the tools needed for evaluating project impact. The handbook presents an overview of concepts and methods, key steps of implementation, analytical techniques through a case study, and a discussion of lessons learned from a set of reviewed evaluations.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: case study, guide

The World Bank

Best PracticeGeneral

Evaluation Principles and Practices

A thorough document created for a more comprehensive internal understanding of the role of evaluation at the Hewlett Foundation, "Evaluation
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A thorough document created for a more comprehensive internal understanding of the role of evaluation at the Hewlett Foundation, "Evaluation Principles and Practices" serves as a guide for foundations and grantees looking to better understand the best practices and principles of evaluation. The document provides a broad overview of different types of evaluations with cursory instruction on implementation in the context of organization-wide adoption. It is organized into four substantive sections: (1) Principles, (2) Organizational Roles, (3) Practice Guide, and (4) Special Evaluation Cases. It also includes a helpful glossary of terms.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide

The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

Best PracticeGeneral

Foundations of Success Guideline for Effective Evaluation

This is a best practice for monitoring and evaluating systems focused on adaptive management (obtaining the information needed to manage projects)
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This is a best practice for monitoring and evaluating systems focused on adaptive management (obtaining the information needed to manage projects) and impact assessments.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide

Foundations of Success

Best PracticeGeneral

Getting to Outcomes™

Getting To Outcomes (GTO) provides methods to build capacity, enhance evaluation skills, and facilitate the achievement and documentation of
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Getting To Outcomes (GTO) provides methods to build capacity, enhance evaluation skills, and facilitate the achievement and documentation of outcomes. It is designed to empower local prevention practitioners to adequately develop and assess their own community-based substance abuse prevention programs. The manual includes 10 specific questions with six focused on planning and four on evaluation, continuous quality improvement, and sustainability. It is supplemented with face-to-face training and on-site technical assistance. RAND also has Web-based interactive tools and additional manuals for preventing underage drinking and teen pregnancy, assisting community positive youth development programs, and guiding program leaders through the process of submitting proposals and allocating funding and developing contracts.  
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: case study, guide, training

RAND Corporation, University of South Carolina, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

MethodCommunity,
Education,
Health...

GRI Reporting Framework

The GRI Reporting Framework offers a method to assess the sustainability of an organization's activities. This method can be applied to any type
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The GRI Reporting Framework offers a method to assess the sustainability of an organization's activities. This method can be applied to any type of organization of any size. GRI also offers Sector Supplements to respond to the unique needs of certain sectors, including but not limited to: the automotive, construction, electric utilities, media, mining & metals, and food processing sectors. Sustainability reports based on the GRI framework benchmark organizational performances with respect to laws, norms, codes, performance standards, and voluntary initiatives and compare organizational performance over time.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide

Global Reporting Initiative

MethodGeneral

HAP Humanitarian Accountability and Quality Management Standard

The HAP Standard is a tool that seeks to measure: 1) Accountability and quality commitments made by an aid agency; 2) Quality management system–the
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The HAP Standard is a tool that seeks to measure: 1) Accountability and quality commitments made by an aid agency; 2) Quality management system–the processes used by the aid agency to achieve the commitments made; 3) Quality of service–as defined by disaster survivors, affected communities, partners, aid practitioners and other specified stakeholders. In order to achieve certification, an agency will demonstrate that it meets the 6 benchmarks and 19 requirements in the HAP Standard. These cover the three areas mentioned above, with specific attention to continual improvement. Designed for use by practitioners, researchers and donors, the Guide to the HAP Standard provides practical advice for improving the quality and accountability of humanitarian action. For agencies seeking HAP certification, it is an indispensible resource. The Additional Tools (in the Find Out More box) links directly to the Annex section of the Guide, which includes sample surveys, checklists, indicators, quality assurance tests, SWOT, and guidance on: conducting interviews, observations, focus groups; engaging communities; setting up feedback mechanisms; and holding lessons learned meetings.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: checklist, guide, standards, survey

Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) International

Toolcertified
Human,
International,
Public Safety

Learning for Results

This is a best practice in the form of an action guide for grantmakers that focuses on how foundations can create a deliberate culture of learning
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This is a best practice in the form of an action guide for grantmakers that focuses on how foundations can create a deliberate culture of learning so that they are better equipped to improve decision-making, lead change and achieve better results.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Best PracticePhilanthropy

Learning with Constituents

This is a method to gather and document meaningful feedback from constituents. It encourages techniques such as “change journals” in which staff
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This is a method to gather and document meaningful feedback from constituents. It encourages techniques such as “change journals” in which staff record the informal input from their daily work. Other techniques include structured dialogues that probe deeply into what small groups of people think about the organization’s achievements, such as focus groups and world café. Large-scale feedback techniques include surveys that generate commentary from large numbers of people on many specific aspects of the organization’s behavior and performance.   
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: guide

Keystone Accountability

MethodGeneral

Listen Learn Lead

This is a report on phase 1 of the Change Agent Project, which offers best practices for grantmakers that focus on listening and engaging with
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This is a report on phase 1 of the Change Agent Project, which offers best practices for grantmakers that focus on listening and engaging with individuals doing work on the ground. The Change Agent Project began by gathering input from grantmakers and nonprofits. Through nine focus groups across the country and 30 interviews with nonprofit leaders and grantmakers GEO asked two questions: Where can changed practice make the greatest difference? And who in philanthropy is leading change? From these conversations, GEO has identified the most promising opportunities for grantmakers to make changes that will contribute to nonprofit results. This report highlights those lessons.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Best PracticePhilanthropy

Logic Model Builder

This method is a step-by-step guide for articulating and connecting organizational or program goals, resources, activities, outputs, and outcomes.

Focus: Organizational Effectiveness

Tags: framework, guide

Innovation Network

MethodGeneral

Measures of Success

This book presents a methodology for designing, managing, and measuring the impacts of community-oriented conservation and development projects. It
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This book presents a methodology for designing, managing, and measuring the impacts of community-oriented conservation and development projects. It provides guidance for designing a site-specific conceptual framework, setting goals, developing a monitoring plan, collecting and analyzing data, and implementing program modifications based on findings. It also includes four case studies that serve to illustrate the methodology in action.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: case study, guide

Foundations of Success

MethodAnimals,
Civil,
Community...

Measuring Advocacy and Policy

This best practice provides an approach to measure advocacy and policy change efforts, starting with a theory of change, identifying outcome
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This best practice provides an approach to measure advocacy and policy change efforts, starting with a theory of change, identifying outcome categories, and selecting practical approaches to measurement.  
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: guide

Annie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research Services

Best PracticeCivil

Metrics Guide

This method allows organizations to build an outline for assessment of outreach, volunteer, or other social activities by creating a list of key
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This method allows organizations to build an outline for assessment of outreach, volunteer, or other social activities by creating a list of key performance indicators and outlining strategies for measurement, applied to a select investment or signature program, or to an entire portfolio of investments.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide

True Impact

MethodGeneral

Metrics that Matter

Transactions – Transformations – Translations: Metrics That Matter for Building, Scaling, and Funding Social Movements, a report from USC Program
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Transactions – Transformations – Translations: Metrics That Matter for Building, Scaling, and Funding Social Movements, a report from USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) with support from the Ford Foundation, provides an evaluative framework and key milestones to gauge movement building. This best practice aims to bridge the gap between the field of community organizing that relies on the one-on-one epiphanies of leaders and the growing philanthropic emphasis on evidence-based giving. The report stresses three main insights: any good set of movement metrics should capture quantity and quality, numbers and nuance, transactions and transformations; a movement is more than one organization; and metrics must be co-created, not imposed. The report also offers a set of recommendations to funders and the field, ranging from practical steps (like building a new toolbox of measures, improving the capacity to use them, and documenting innovation and experimentation) to more far-reaching suggestions about leadership development, the connection of policy outcomes with broader social change, and the need to generate movement-level measures.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide, indicators, strategy

USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity

Best PracticeCivil,
Public Affairs

Monitoring & Evaluation Toolkit

This guide outlines a methodology for setting up and using a monitoring and evaluation system for a project or an organisation. It clarifies what
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This guide outlines a methodology for setting up and using a monitoring and evaluation system for a project or an organisation. It clarifies what monitoring and evaluation are, how you plan to do them, how you design a system that helps you monitor and an evaluation process that brings it all together usefully. It looks at how you collect the information you need and then how you save yourself from drowning in data by analysing the information in a relatively straightforward way. Finally it raises, and attempts to address, some of the issues to do with taking action on the basis of what you have learned. It also includes a case study, worksheets, and glossary of terms.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: case study, framework, guide, worksheet

CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation

MethodGeneral

Monitoring and Evaluation for Poverty Reduction

This book chapter provides a method extensively outlining the decision-making process and reasoning behind initiating a practical evaluation of a
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This book chapter provides a method extensively outlining the decision-making process and reasoning behind initiating a practical evaluation of a poverty-reduction program (or programs) over time. The authors (Giovanna Prennushi, Gloria Rubio, and Kalanidhi Subbarao) detail how to construct a relevant framework using a results-based management approach and decide what data to collect on the appropriate indicators to measure outcomes and impact.  
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide

The World Bank

MethodHuman,
Other

Outcome Mapping

Outcome Mapping offers a methodology that can be used to create planning, monitoring, and evaluation mechanisms enabling organizations to document,
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Outcome Mapping offers a methodology that can be used to create planning, monitoring, and evaluation mechanisms enabling organizations to document, learn from, and report on their achievements. It is designed to assist in understanding an organization's results, while recognizing that contributions by other actors are essential to achieving the kinds of sustainable, large-scale improvements in human and ecological well-being toward which the organization is working. The innovations introduced in Outcome Mapping provide ways of overcoming some of the barriers to learning faced by evaluators and development partners. Attribution and measuring downstream results are dealt with through a more direct focus on transformations in the actions of the main actors. The methodology has also shown promise for across-portfolio learning in that it facilitates standardization of indicators without losing the richness in each case's story thus combining qualitative and quantitative approaches.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide, worksheet

International Development Research Centre

MethodGeneral

Performance Information that Really Performs

This is a best practice that outlines a series of steps. The steps are to develop guiding principles, access current practice, determine what
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This is a best practice that outlines a series of steps. The steps are to develop guiding principles, access current practice, determine what information is needed, design tools and procedures to gather information, gather the information, translate it to action, and ultimately engage in a process of reflection and if needed correction.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide, strategy

Jill Blair, Fay Twersky

Best PracticeGeneral

Program and Policymaking Evaluation

This is a best practice on how to make effective decisions about program funding and support. It addresses cross-cutting programming and policy
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This is a best practice on how to make effective decisions about program funding and support. It addresses cross-cutting programming and policy decisions and utilizes information gathered and synthesized from both project level and cluster level evaluation.  
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: guide, strategy

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Best PracticePhilanthropy

Project Level Evaluation: Context Evaluation

This is a best practice to show how a particular project functions within the economic, social, and political environment of its community and
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This is a best practice to show how a particular project functions within the economic, social, and political environment of its community and project setting. Context evaluation asks how the community and umbrella organization hinder or help achieve project goals.  
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Best PracticeGeneral

Project Level Evaluation: Implementation Evaluation

This is a best practice to help with the planning, setting up, and carrying out of a project and with the documentation of the evolution of a
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This is a best practice to help with the planning, setting up, and carrying out of a project and with the documentation of the evolution of a project. It enhances the likelihood of success by providing indications of what happened and why.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide, strategy

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Best PracticeGeneral

Project Level Evaluation: Outcome Evaluation

This is a best practice to determine what outcomes are expected from a project and identify what impact a project is having on its clients, staff,
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This is a best practice to determine what outcomes are expected from a project and identify what impact a project is having on its clients, staff, umbrella organization, and community. It asks: 1) Who are you trying to serve? 2) What outcomes are you trying to achieve for your target population? 3) How will you measure whether you’ve achieved these outcomes? 4) What data will you collect and how will you collect it? 5) How will you use those results? 6) What are your performance targets?   
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Best PracticeGeneral

Prove It!

Prove it! was developed and published by NEF in 2000 in partnership with Groundwork UK and Barclays PLC to provide a method for measuring the
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Prove it! was developed and published by NEF in 2000 in partnership with Groundwork UK and Barclays PLC to provide a method for measuring the effect of community regeneration projects on the quality of life of local people. This method was originally conceived to help those managing neighborhood renewal projects look beyond the physical and environmental changes that had taken place (e.g. the number of trees planted; amenities created) and be able to highlight the positive outcomes of regeneration that can often go unnoticed. Since the original handbook was produced an accompanying Prove It! Toolkit has been developed that supports a project manager in planning and undertaking a participatory evaluation for proving and improving.  
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide

New Economics Foundation

MethodArts,
Community,
Education...

Social Impact Assessment

This is a best practice that provides the following guidelines a) conceptual: funders and grantees should align goals, assessment tools, and best
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This is a best practice that provides the following guidelines a) conceptual: funders and grantees should align goals, assessment tools, and best practices b) operational: grantees and investors should acknowledge evaluation expenses as part of the cost of doing business, invest in measurement systems and tools, and develop examples of proven impact c) structural: each field and subfield should explore a range of possible outcome goals and best practices for measurement d) practical: a commitment to outcomes assessment can be a fundamental part of the management structure and organizational culture among funders and nonprofits.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: case study, guide

Rockefeller Foundation, Goldman Sachs Foundation

Best PracticeGeneral

SROI

This tool applies a monetary value to ventures with social objectives. REDF's SROI Framework focuses on determining a set of six SROI metrics:
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This tool applies a monetary value to ventures with social objectives. REDF's SROI Framework focuses on determining a set of six SROI metrics: Enterprise Value, Social Purpose Value, Blended Value, Enterprise Index of Return, Social Purpose Index of Return, and Blended Index of Return. It uses an organization's actual data on outputs and outcomes and on proxy research but does not include analysis against what social outcomes would have been if the venture did not exist.  
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Focus: Social Impact

Tags: case study, framework, guide

REDF

ToolGeneral

SROI

SROI is a method that aims to quantify social impact by attributing value to particular outcomes. Based on a set of principles for accounting for
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SROI is a method that aims to quantify social impact by attributing value to particular outcomes. Based on a set of principles for accounting for value, its stages include involving stakeholders, defining scope, developing an impact map, identifying and collecting data on approximate indicators and financial proxies, finding appropriate comparison data, collecting data on expenditure or investment, calculating the SROI, completing a sensitivity analysis, and producing an SROI report.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: case study, checklist, framework, guide

The SROI Network

MethodGeneral

SROI Framework

This method offers set of guidelines for the measurement of non-financial impact per investment. It defines four major stages: Planning,
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This method offers set of guidelines for the measurement of non-financial impact per investment. It defines four major stages: Planning, Implementation, Reporting and Embedding, and the key questions and choices to be addressed at each step. Planning involves determining the goals for the analysis, its scope, the key stakeholders affected by the entity to be analyzed, the entity’s impact value chain, sources of data of information to be gathered, and a resource plan for the analysis. Implementation involves collection of data and supporting outcomes and base case evidence, as well as a calculation of social cash flows for outcomes describable in monetary terms, and a net present value calculation of these to arrive at an ROI ratio. Reporting includes making transparent the scope of the analysis and sources to facilitate verification and replication. Embedding includes specifying who is responsible for ongoing maintenance of data collection and analysis. The SROI framework does not include data management tools.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: calculation, case study, checklist, framework, guide

ESROIN members and others

MethodGeneral

The Big Picture

The Big Picture is a tool that works as an organizational development framework for identifying the strengths and areas for improvement of an
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The Big Picture is a tool that works as an organizational development framework for identifying the strengths and areas for improvement of an organization across all its activities. It is non-prescriptive and does not involve strictly following a set of rules or standards, but provides a broad and coherent set of assumptions about what is required for a good organization and its management.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

ToolGeneral

The Due Dilligence Tool

The Due Diligence Tool for use in pre-grant assessment represents a blending of due diligence best practices compiled from grantmakers from a
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The Due Diligence Tool for use in pre-grant assessment represents a blending of due diligence best practices compiled from grantmakers from a diverse set of foundations around the country, including private, family, corporate and community foundations, both large and small. The purpose of the guide is to provide a research-based tool for the foundation program officer, whether specialist or generalist, and a methodology for and orientation to thinking about due diligence. The guide is designed to provide program officers questions to ask about the organization’s health, what documents should be reviewed and how to draw conclusions from the gathered information. The guide is designed to be an aid to program officer insight and experience.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness

Tags: checklist, guide, framework, worksheet

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, La Piana Consulting

Best PracticeGeneral

Theory of Change Community

The TOC website is devoted to the methodology, use and practice of Theory of Change. At this site you'll find, among other things: 1) When TOC can
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The TOC website is devoted to the methodology, use and practice of Theory of Change. At this site you'll find, among other things: 1) When TOC can help you and how (planning, re-grouping, evaluation, board meetings); 2) How it is best applied (should the scope of your engagement be a day, a month, or a year?); 3) How TOC can be the basis for a major organizational shift towards focusing on outcomes and accountability, while remaining participatory and transparent; and 4) How TOC has been used recently in key topic areas such as social justice, women’s movements, international justice, youth development, structural racism and more. Additionally, the site features a Facilitator’s Guide, published by the Aspen Roundtable, numerous PowerPoints showing the steps to creating TOCs, and finally, the Theory of Change Online, a web-based online drawing tool and database custom designed to create, store, and share Theories of Change. ActKnowledge also offers training and workshops to assist organizations in developing their TOCs.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: case study, framework, guide, strategy, training

ActKnowledge

MethodGeneral

Trustee Evaluation Toolkit

The Trustee Evaluation Toolkit offers best practices from interviews with dozens of foundation trustees, CEOs, and evaluation experts. The toolkit
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The Trustee Evaluation Toolkit offers best practices from interviews with dozens of foundation trustees, CEOs, and evaluation experts. The toolkit explores brief case studies that show how foundation trustees are successfully employing different types of evaluation for a variety of purposes. In addition, it provides a self-assessment survey for foundation trustees, a framework for trustee conversations, a facilitator's guide, and a planning guide for foundation trustees to create a custom action plan for improving performance through evaluation.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: case study, guide, survey

FSG

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Understanding Software for Program Evaluation

This best practice outlines the aspects of successful program management and evaluation, with a focus on the types of software that can facilitate
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This best practice outlines the aspects of successful program management and evaluation, with a focus on the types of software that can facilitate them. It breaks program evaluation data collection, use, and reporting down into five discrete elements (central program data hub, auxiliary data systems, proactive data gathering, existing data gathering, and reporting/visualization) and delves into the tools used by various organization types for each category.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: guide, software

Idealware

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Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit

The Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit contains tools developed by IVR to help organizations and groups to measure and assess the impacts of
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The Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit contains tools developed by IVR to help organizations and groups to measure and assess the impacts of volunteering. It is designed to be simple and adaptable so that organizations can use it in ways that are most useful to them. The Toolkit contains a set of research methods or instruments to help organizations assess the impacts of volunteering on different stakeholders or parties. These include: questionnaires; focus group topic guides; volunteer diaries; and volunteer manager audit forms.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: case study, guide, survey

Institute for Volunteering Research

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Women's Empowerment Framework

The Women’s Empowerment Framework offers a best practice that was developed by gender expert Sara Hlupekile Longwe to assist organizations in
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The Women’s Empowerment Framework offers a best practice that was developed by gender expert Sara Hlupekile Longwe to assist organizations in identifying what women’s empowerment and equality means in practice, and then examining to what extent an intervention is supporting this equality and empowerment. Longwe’s framework is based on the concept of five different levels of equality (control, participation, conscientisation, access and welfare) across three levels of program effect (positive, neutral or negative impact). Expounding on this framework is Longwe’s 2002 essay, Spectacles for Seeing Gender in Project Evaluation, in which she provides a guide for looking at evaluation design, a project plan, evaluation questions, and a lens through which we can recognize and analyze gender issues, and see the process of women’s empowerment.  
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Focus: Organizational Effectiveness, Social Impact

Tags: framework, guide

Sara Hlupekile Longwe

Best PracticeGeneral
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