Around the Institute

Flexibility in Evaluation

April 12, 2013

Movement & Momentum

In One in Seven, the Disability Rights Fund (DRF) presents the ongoing evolution and progress of the global disability rights movement by highlighting the work of several organizations helping to generate significant policy change.  What’s striking here—and important for all advocates to consider— is the struggle to ensure compliance: just because you’ve contributed to changing a law doesn’t always mean that you’ve improved lives.  Big kudos to DRF for stressing what remains to be done. 

It’s a F*€#ing Mall!

You’ve spent months drafting a detailed evaluation plan for your advocacy campaign: you know what you’re tracking and (this is key…) why.  But once you’re up and running, you discover one tiny kink in this carefully-laid out strategy—the message you thought would gain traction isn’t really sticking.  At all.  Yet one of your other talking points, a minor one perhaps, is actually getting people excited.  Being open to unexpected results and flexible enough to adjust your evaluation as you go becomes all the more critical here.  Just ask Brad Leithauser of The New Yorker.

Sharing Insights

The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation has recently launched a new project designed to spread good evaluation practices and develop guidelines for effective evaluation systems.  Called “Commitment to Evaluation,” this effort aims to assess the evaluation tools and strategies of agencies around the world in order to incentivize learning, encourage better evaluations, and ultimately contribute to informed policy decisions.  Evaluations used for more than a shiny PDF report posted on a website?  It warms our hearts.