Philosophy for Evaluation
Our priority for evaluation is learning rather than finding definitive measures of attribution (or even contribution). We support evaluation and learning activities that are intended to meet four basic information needs driving our decision-making processes:
- Landscaping activities: Explore the context in which our work is taking place, the social and environmental conditions surrounding our work, and how those factors are evolving over time. Key questions related to landscape evaluation activities include: What is the context, what are the social and environmental conditions, and how are they changing over time and space?
- Feedback evaluation activities: Garner information from our staff, partners, grantees and beneficiaries about how our work is progressing, what is going well, and what might need to be adjusted and improved. Key questions related to feedback evaluation activities include: What is working? What is not working, and why? What could be improved or adjusted?
- Performance and outcome evaluation activities: Measure progress toward specified results of our work. These measurement activities are designed to be carried out on-the-ground, as close to our funding as possible. Key questions related to performance and outcome evaluation activities include: To what extent is progress being made toward specified results? What are the measurable outcomes?
- Impact evaluation activities: Collect information on the ultimate contribution of our work. Key questions related to impact evaluation activities include: What contributions has the program made? With what intended and unintended results?
For additional information as to how MacArthur approaches evaluation go to: https://www.macfound.org/learning/evaluation/