Designing Initiative Evaluation A Systems-oriented Framework for Evaluating Social Change Efforts

W. K. Kellogg Foundation, 2007. 48 pages. Available as pdf.


“This document is designed for use by external evaluators who conduct initiative evaluations for theW.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) – and, hopefully, other foundations and government agencies. It presents a systems-oriented framework and four general designs for initiative and cluster evaluation. The designs are based on systems concepts related to change and the dynamics of systems. The focus is not on considering all ideas about systems that could be applied to initiative evaluation, rather on how different dynamics within systems can serve as the basis for initiative evaluation designs.”

“Cluster and Initiative Grantmaking at WKKF”

“Over the past three decades,WKKF has introduced two types of grantmaking that involve multiple projects, locations, and grantees: (1) “clusters” that typically focus on the exploration and/or development of new approaches to a program issue area; and (2) strategic “initiatives,” designed to create systems changes that will lead to intended long-term, sustainable impact.

As WKKF began to increasingly support clusters and initiatives, it became clear that new opportunities for learning and evaluation arose beyond those available when looking at single projects; thus began cluster and initiative evaluation. (The evaluation designs for clusters and initiatives evaluation are similar. They are termed together as “initiative evaluation” in this document.)”


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