Repost: How to Improve Evaluation in the Philanthropic Sector, with PJL's Laura Leeson
Projet Jeune Leader's Laura Leeson co-authored "Three Steps to Improving Evaluation in the Philanthropic Sector," a blog post published by WomenStrong International and written with Mara Steinhaus (Senior Research and Learning Specialist, WomenStrong International, USA) and Andrea Tock (Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, Women’s Justice Initiative, Guatemala).
In the article, Laura, Andrea, and Mara flip the traditional model of philanthropic evaluation on its head by re-envisioning "who decides what matters." They outline three core steps to improve philanthropic evaluation to "achieve a healthier system, with benefits for all."
"Funders will get more nuanced, insightful perspectives on the impact of their funding. Grantee organizations will be able to freely identify learning activities that best fit their resources and objectives. Most importantly, community members will have the power to specify their most pressing challenges, as well as what 'success' means to them."
The article follows up on their talk at the 2021 American Evaluation Association’s annual conference, where Laura and Andrea—staff from two different community-based grantee organizations—and Mara—member of a foundation’s learning team—presented their own experiences and vision for how to make philanthropic evaluation activities better serve communities, grantees, and funders.