Introducing: Aligned Measurement & Learning

What if measurement, learning and evaluation (MLE) were highly responsive to what the program and organization needed to know?  If it honored the strategic plan and evolved with learning needs, but was not onerous to staff? And it organized data and analysis in a way that was readily accessible to colleagues, leadership and stakeholders? We …

Six Takeaways on the State of Evaluation from #AEA2023

I’ve attended the American Evaluation Association (AEA) annual conference for the past nine years. During this time, the conference schedule has increasingly featured presentations on collaborative and participatory measurement and learning (MLE) for nonprofit social change programs. Continuing that trend, evaluators at AEA 2023 presented on MLE projects where they are serving as facilitators and …

Surveying Your Community? Your Findings Report Should Bolster Your Reputation as an Expert

Years ago I made a friend who hailed from rural New Hampshire. She claimed that her family exchanged balls of scrap string as holiday presents. Not the cute kind you can now get on #Etsy https://tinyurl.com/ycxnjrvp Actual lengths of string for emergency shoelaces or gate repairs – practical uses. Taken off a package she’d received, …

Speak to Us, Frederick Douglass

It’s raining in #ConcordMassachusetts on the morning of the #FrederickDouglass community reading. Not a friendly little rain. Water coming down in sheets. The Robbins House https://rb.gy/zse0d staff have set up a small event tent for participants, across from the tent they’ll be under to lead the event. The re-enactor playing Douglass – an imposing young …

Make the Most of Organizational Collaborations

Are you still dating your high school boyfriend? Kudos to you if you are. Or, if you married the guy, I’m envious! But if you’re like me, you’re in touch with only a few high school friends. As we take on new roles in our personal lives – as an aunt, business owner, member of …

The Alchemy of Regular Measurement

I bet you have a friend who owns an Apple watch, or a Garmin. Who keeps track of how many steps he’s taken before breakfast. Or how many vertical [feet? meters?] she’s skied in her morning on the slopes. Like me, did you think . . . what’s up with that? Is it making him …

Improve Post-Training Surveys to Learn About Impact

“Tell Us How Much You Love Us.” That’s how a friend – who trains professionals all over the world – describes the average post-training evaluation survey. This is because surveys often just focus on three things: Participation: Were the group exercises engaging? Were there adequate bio and texting breaks? Was it easy to work out …

New to Measurement and Learning for Social Change? Try the Five Questions

My mother left me my favorite kitchen tool: a small, serrated knife that peels, chops, and carves with ease. I reach for it first, before the dozen specialized knives in the block.  I bet you also have a best-loved household tool. Maybe a hammer that has the perfect heft and fits your hand just right. …

Advocacy on the Menu at Boston Globe

In the mood for a tasty lesson on doing #advocacy right? Check out the Boston Globe’s “Food” section’s inspired campaign, #ProjectTakeout.  https://bit.ly/3M9egTd #Project Takeout’s goal is to spur readers’ support for local independent restaurants during this second crushing pandemic winter. My favorite part is the feature “Three Places We Supported This Week.” https://bit.ly/3Hst1x5 Each weekly …

Community Possibilities Podcast: Advocating for Social Change

I recently had a great chat with my friend and colleague Ann Price, who hosts the Community Possibilities podcast at Community Evaluation Solutions. Ann’s expertise is working with community-based social service organizations both large and small on strategy design and evaluation for social change. We’ve connected over our passion for advocacy and policy change as …