Generating ideas, connections, and action

Evaluation Techniques Series

Author: GrantCraft
Date of Publication: Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Learning Circles: Evaluation Learning Circle
Abstract: As grant makers, we often look for evaluation and assessment techniques that match the projects or programs we fund. We want an evaluation that’s useful to the foundation, the grantee, the grantee’s stakeholders, and the wider field or community. We hear about techniques like theory of change, collaborative inquiry, ethnography, or outcomes measurement, and their use seems to be growing. Even so, it's not always easy to find out exactly what the terms mean, and many grant makers remain uncertain about what the methods have to offer, how they can build useful knowledge, or when they might be most valuable. To help grant makers understand some of these newer evaluative approaches and weigh their advantages, GrantCraft is developing a collection of briefing notes. Each note will explain the basics of one technique and answer some common questions about its use. A mini-case, based on one grant maker’s experiences, is featured in each guide. If literature about the topic is readily accessible, we refer you to it.