Transforming Knowledge into Change

EVALUATION CAPACITY BUILDING: Funder Initiatives to Strengthen Grantee Evaluation Capacity and Practice

Evaluation Capacity Building (ECB) is the process of improving an organization’s ability to use evaluation to learn from its work and improve results. Organizational learning is incredibly important. Organizations that are adept at learning from mistakes and adapting to new challenges are more likely to be successful, and in the nonprofit sector, more likely to make significant progress toward mission-related outcomes. In general, ECB can be used to:

  • Improve the knowledge and skills of individuals. Staff members need to have an understanding of evaluation, and the confidence to apply basic evaluation approaches and methods to their work. Everyone does not need to be an expert, but everyone does need to have a basic support for and understanding of evaluation.
  • Strengthen organizational evaluation approaches. Within an organization, there have to be effective mechanisms to support evaluation. Established systems and processes support staff to identify, collect, and use evaluative information.
The three case studies presented in this paper share innovation network's experiences with funder initiatives to strengthen grantee evaluation capacity and practice. Each case study includes a description of the overall grantmaking initiative, followed by a discussion of the ECB services requested by grantees and/or provided by Innovation Network. The paper concludes with a reflection on lessons learned and recommendations for funders considering ECB for their grantees.

The case studies embody different intensity levels of ECB work, and are arranged from least intensive to most intensive. The first two case studies represent projects in which an ECB component was added to a program evaluation engagement, while the third case study is of a project that was purely ECB.


Bibliographic Details
Author Myia Welsh and Johanna Morariu
Publisher Innovatrion Network
Publication Date June 15, 2011
Publication City Washington DC
Publication Work
Resource Type
Resource Focus
Submitted to Point K June 23, 2011 - 10:21am


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