How has Health Impact Assessment been used? Findings from a new study

Health is impacted by multiple factors outside the direct control of the public health and health care system, such as education, income, and the conditions in which people live, work, and play. Health impact assessment (HIA), provides a structured process for examining the potential health impacts of proposed policies, plans, programs, and projects. Conducting a […]

Exciting changes at Spark: New CEO, Eval Director, and Learning Officer

Dear Spark partners, Today is a big day for all of us at Spark and for me personally. After 13 years of leading this organization, bringing together an amazing team of thought leaders and changemakers, I am excited to transition into a different role, creating room for new leadership to take Spark into the future. […]

The Collective Impact Research Study: What is all this really going to mean, anyway?

By Jewlya Lynn, CEO, Spark Policy Institute; Sarah Stachowiak, CEO, ORS Impact It’s easy for evaluators to sometimes get tied up in the technical terms around our work, leaving lay people unclear on what some of our decisions and choices mean.  Without care, we can also risk being opaque about what a particular design can […]

Sharing as We Go: The Collective Impact Research Study

By Jewlya Lynn, CEO, Spark Policy Institute; Sarah Stachowiak, CEO, ORS Impact     At Spark Policy Institute (Spark) and ORS Impact (ORS), we have been doing systems building work for over a decade. When the Collective Impact approach came along, it created a level of clarity for many people, both about what it means […]

Evaluating Multi-stakeholder Advocacy Efforts

This is the second in a series of blogs on topics we’ll be presenting on at the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) annual meeting, which will be in Atlanta, GA October 24-29. Today’s advocacy environment is complex, with multiple stakeholders working together in campaigns that range from informal networks to collaborative impact and other similarly coordinated […]

Evaluators’ Varied Roles in Collective Impact

Over the next few months, we’ll be releasing a series of blogs on topics we’ll be presenting on at the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) annual meeting, which will be in Atlanta, GA October 24-29. You can learn more about the meeting, including how to register here. Google “Collective Impact” and you’ll get roughly 1.8 million hits […]

Redefining Rigor: Describing quality evaluation in complex, adaptive settings

This blog is co-authored by Dr. Jewlya Lynn, Spark Policy Institute, and Hallie Preskill, FSG. The blog is also posted on FSG’s website: www.fsg.org  Traditionally, evaluation has focused on understanding whether a program is making progress against pre-determined indicators. In this context, the quality of the evaluation is often measured in part by the “rigor” […]

How do you know if you’re getting the best quality in your evaluations?

How do you know if you’re getting the best quality in your evaluations? Quality in evaluation used to be defined as rigor (and sometimes still is), with rigor meaning the competence of the evaluator, the legitimacy of the process and, of course, applying the best research methods to the collection and analysis of data. These […]

A Better Place: Contemplating systems change in place based work

What does it take to trigger systemic changes that can improve quality of life in a community? One suggestion that emerged from the Better Place convening in San Diego earlier this month was the idea of novelty: we need a novel idea and then opportunities to test it, discover its value, and take it to […]

Evaluating Collaboration in Place-based Initiatives: Can it Move the Needle?

On October 5th and 6th, I will have the opportunity to facilitate a session on how evaluation can help stakeholders understand and strengthen cross-sector partnerships and collaboration more broadly at the Art & Science of Place-Based Evaluation. The conference is hosted by Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, and […]

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