Field Notes

In "Field Notes" we'll be regularly reporting on our evaluation work, discussing challenges, approaches, strategies, sharing learning. Hopefully colleagues will share any of their own insights!

Framework – Evaluating Social Justice Work

A visual we put together a number of years ago that illustrates some key concepts in theories of change for Social Justice work. We have found this to be helpful for understanding what to explore in evaluation projects, as well narrating the significance of findings in a context of longer-term change. Theories – Social Justice […]

Participatory Action Learning

Blog posts on our learning over the last few years, with lots of resources and links to concrete tools! Participatory Action Learning – Insights into a catalyst for transformative change. Details on the Action Learning Approach – Concrete tools and resources.

Our Comments on Evaluation and Social Justice Philanthropy

Catherine Borgman-Arboleda recently presented an evaluator’s perspective for the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers webinar on Social Justice Philanthropy. Here are her comments.cba_social-justice-philantropy-slides_fin

How do we support knowledge sharing and learning?

  Recently AEC member Catherine Borgman-Arboleda was involved with leading the design and implementation of a multi-country participatory monitoring and learning process for groups working on issues of women’s empowerment. These are a few key take-aways from the experience:  *Timelines need to come from the pace, rhythms, and priorities on the ground. This does not lessen […]

Building Community Advocacy Capacity: A Few Lessons Learned from Tobacco Policy Change

In the spirit of making sure that evaluation resources provide the greatest benefit, we are sharing these findings from an evaluation conducted from late 2009 to early 2012, for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Two members of AEC were senior evaluators on RWJF’s Tobacco Policy Change (TPC) evaluation. AEC believes in the importance of evaluation’s role […]

An Evaluator’s Contribution to Sandy Hook

Supporting Healing and Empowerment On December 14, 2012, a tragedy occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. A strong reaction rippled across the country and, in many cases, this inspired action to build awareness, peace and stronger communities. Within days, the Sandy Hook Healing Project (SHHP), developed by Heather Gunn-Rivera, opened its […]

Tobacco Policy Change Evaluation – Executive Summary

TPC_Exec summary

Linking Theory with Action – An example

Background: We recently conducted a Theory of Action process with a capacity building organization, the Progressive Technology Project (PTP), which works with political organizing and social movement groups in the U.S. The group wanted to develop their Theory of Action, but also have a very focused discussion linking the process to decision-making over the next couple years. […]

Theory of Action/Theory of Change – Basic steps…

 When to use This process is best used at the beginning of a program or initiative or as an initial step in setting up an evaluation. It is a powerful tool to surface assumptions and support critical thinking and reflection  while also strengthening planning processes and sharpening strategies. It also provides a framework for monitoring […]

Theory of Action/Theory of Change- A few tips and lessons learned…

For a ToA to be more than just a map, the facilitator needs to be sure that the organization has the understanding and capacity to take on facilitation itself (for example by providing suggestions, a simple toolkit). The goal is for the   process of critical thinking to  happen independently of a facilitator, and for […]