Next Generation Evaluation: Embracing Complexity, Connectivity, and Change | Beth’s Blog

Next Generation Evaluation: Embracing Complexity, Connectivity, and Change

Conferences, Measurement

Last spring at the “Advancing Social Media Measurement for Foundations” meeting convened by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, practitioners from social media, measurement, evaluation, programs, communication, and philanthropy worked on a synthesis of these disciplines to address measurement.  It struck me, that although we do usually think about measuring and learning to improve campaigns and program that integrate social media and networks, if done correctly it is essential outcome-based evaluation and KD Paine and I briefly touched on this on our book, “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit.”

So, I’m very curious about what is next the generation of evaluation?

On November 14, FSG and Stanford Social Innovation Review will convene nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, evaluators, and other interested organizations and individuals to explore the possibilities for learning and evaluation in the social sector for “Next Generation Evaluation.”

  • Key trends: What are the fundamental forces driving the need for social sector evaluation to evolve?
  • Game-changing approaches: What are the most promising methods and examples of how social sector players are practicing evaluation in light of these new trends?
  • Future of the sector: What are the implications for the social sector and individual organizations moving forward?

Three game-changing approaches will be discussed in detail: Developmental EvaluationShared Measurement, and Big Data. These approaches have the potential to change how we view evaluation in a significant way.

I was honored to be interviewed along with other thought leaders for a  Learning Brief that synthesizes FSG’s latest thinking on the future of social sector evaluation. The brief explores the key trends driving the need for evaluation to evolve, as well as the characteristics and game-changing approaches associated with Next Generation Evaluation and this convening is on my list.   Evaluation has its own special language and terms and with a cross-disciplinary group, it is important to know each other’s jargon.  There’s an APP for that!     You can download an “Evaluation Glossary” that explains key terms in the evaluation field.  It’s available for both iPhone and Android platforms.

What lies beneath the big ideas that will be discussed at Next Generation Evaluation?   Technology!   Luckily,  Idealware has just published a useful guide cover the practical resources and technology tools for collecting, tracking, and reporting on program data.   The guide is useful for those beginners and early adopters alike.  You can download a copy of this free guide (sign up required) on the Idealware site.

The convergence of big data, learning from failure, and networks meet program evaluation were big themes that popped up in my curated collection on networked nonprofit measurement.    What you think?

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  1. [...] Last spring at the "Advancing Social Media Measurement for Foundations" meeting convened by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, practitioners from social media, measurement, evaluation, programs, communication, and philanthropy worked on a synthesis of…  [...]