As leaders across the social sector adopt the collective impact approach to problem solving, an important question looms in many people’s minds: Given how complex and unpredictable the work is, what is the best way to evaluate a collective impact initiative’s progress and success? Traditionally, evaluations of specific interventions have focused on their results to determine whether or not (and how) they have “worked.” But collective impact initiatives involve multiple activities, programs, and initiatives, all of which operate in mutually reinforcing ways. Moreover, they aim to change highly complex systems. As a result, merely taking a snapshot of a given intervention’s effectiveness at one point does not tell the whole story. To truly evaluate their effectiveness, collective impact leaders need to see the bigger picture—the initiative’s many different parts and the ways they interact and evolve over time. For that, they need a new way to approach evaluation. (Parkhurst and Preskill 2014)
This webinar will cover evaluation and impact of efforts. When working on collective impact efforts, it is essential to implement an approach to performance measurement and evaluation that is as multi-faceted, responsive, and flexible as the initiatives themselves.
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