past event
Social Capital

Assessing the Capacity of Community Coalitions to Advocate for Change

Research has shown that high-capacity coalitions are more successful in effecting community change. While a number of coalition assessment tools have been developed, documentation is scarce regarding how they are implemented, how the results are used, and whether they are predictive of coalition success in collaborative community change efforts. This session will focus on a coalition assessment tool that was designed by Innovation Network to assess changes in coalition capacity over time. Developed for a health promotion initiative of a major health foundation, this tool is designed to assess coalition progress in eight key areas across twelve different community coalitions, over the course of a three year initiative.

Presenters will share lessons learned from the first year of the initiative about developing and deploying the assessment tool, as well as what these tools can —and can’’t —tell you about a coalition’’s capacity in conducting community change work. In addition presenters will share how information collected from this assessment can be communicated back to the coalitions using data visualization approaches to effectively communicate the data.


Veena Pankaj is a Director of Innovation Network, Inc., and also leads many of the organization’s consulting and research projects. Veena leads and manages evaluation and strategy consulting projects with clients such as the Kansas Health Foundation, Share Our Strength, CARE, and the Congressional Hunger Center. She has over a decade of experience leading organizations through the evaluation process, and she works closely with foundations and nonprofits to answer questions about program design, implementation, and impact. Ms. Pankaj completed a Certificate in Organization Development from Georgetown University, and has received a B.A. in Sociology from University of Virginia, and an M.A. in Social Sciences from University of Chicago.

Johanna Morariu is a Director of Innovation Network, Inc., and also leads the organization’s consulting and research projects, working with organizations such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Connecticut Health Foundation, the Center for Community Change, and others. Johanna is a fierce believer in the power of the social sector to improve people’’s lives, and the role of the social sector as innovator, experimenter, and advocate for effective approaches to societal challenges. In her work, she seeks to magnify the impact of her partners by providing timely, high-quality information to bolster decision making. She directs the organization’’s research agenda, including the ongoing State of Evaluation project ( Ms. Morariu received her B.A. in International Relations and History from Penn State University and her M.A. in Political Science from George Mason University.

Kat Athanasaides is an Associate with the Innovation Network team. She brings skills of evaluation design and implementation, advocacy evaluation, SROI analysis, data collection tool design, and technical assistance provision. Kat consults with organizations such as the Ford Foundation, the Kansas Health Foundation, the Center for Community Change, and others. She received her B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College, and a Master of International Affairs (M.I.A.) from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where she focused on international economic development.

Ann Emery is an Associate with Innovation Network. Ann works with a variety of social sector organizations, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Center for Community Change, Connecticut Health Foundation, and the Kansas Health Foundation. She also contributes to research projects such as State of Evaluation 2012: Evaluation Practice and Capacity in the Nonprofit Sector. Ann brings a well rounded skill set, including evaluation design, data collection, analysis, data and information visualization, technical assistance, and training. Ms. Emery received a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Virginia and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Educational Psychology from George Mason University.

Event information
Wed May 22, 2013
8:15am - 9:45am GMT+0000
Washington, DC, United States