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- Distribute publications that keep our audiences up to date in the field of evaluation. For over a decade, we’ve shared field-wide innovative trends, strategies, and techniques through our periodical, The Evaluation Exchange. Policymakers, practitioners, and evaluators depend on its engaging articles to find new ideas that will improve policy and practice and for tools that will help them frame decision-making conversations.
- Work with nonprofits and foundations on evaluations that continuously inform their strategies. Our evaluation approach is unique and dynamic—we believe that evaluation must lead to learning and innovation in addition to accountability. We link evaluation design directly to strategy, develop a data collection and reporting schedule that regularly informs that strategy, and engage evaluation stakeholders in an ongoing dialogue about what we are learning and the implications.
- Test and refine innovative evaluation approaches with a diverse set of issues, initiatives, and organizations. Our evaluation experience is substantively rich, and includes early childhood, family involvement, out-of-school time, advocacy, communications, and policy change initiatives. We specialize in the evaluation of complex initiatives that involve multiple organizations and are spread out across multiple sites, such as our evaluation the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Preschool for California’s Children grantmaking program, a statewide advocacy effort to achieve universally-available preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds in California.
- Support collaborations that build and strengthen the evaluation field. We help build the evaluation field by facilitating dialogue, collaboration, and networking among evaluators with like-minded interests. We led the founding of a new American Evaluation Association affinity group on advocacy and policy change evaluation and are helping to build this emerging area of practice by working collaboratively with other foundations, evaluators, and advocates.
- Offer tools that strengthen evaluation practice. We develop “how to” tools and briefs in easily accessible language and formats that are of particular use to evaluation practitioners. For example, we have tools on logic models and theories of change that instruct users on how to use these approaches to strengthen evaluation practice.