We provide strategic advice, guide project design and planning, and conduct real-time and outcome-based evaluations. We create learning briefs that succinctly capture outcomes and lessons learned. Our specialized services include the following: Theory of Change Development, Program Evaluation, Meeting Facilitations, Evaluation and Strategy Learning Circles, Appreciative Inquiry; Evaluation Capacity-Building, and Strategic Planning Support for Boards and Organizations.
1. Theory of Change, Outcomes and Indicators, Outcome Maps. Facilitate the Theory of Change process to identify underlying assumptions and measurable change areas (outcomes). Design evaluation plans that align with the Theory of Change. Theory of Change facilitations often include development of graphical representations, called “Outcome Maps.”
- Evaluation and Strategy Learning Circles. Evaluation and Strategy Learning Circles are a key component of our practice. Carolyn developed the Learning Circle as a shared study experience that can be used to support developmental evaluation, strategic learning or evaluation capacity-building. Learning Circles provide iterative opportunities to engage an organization’s leadership, project staff and other stakeholders in examining real-time data, reflecting on the implications of findings, and identifying action steps where appropriate. The Learning Circle is particularly well suited to complex and dynamic environments, including work with social innovations and collective impact approaches.
- Appreciative Inquiry. Apprecative Inquiry is a strength-based approach that begins with a careful investigation into successful practices and outcomes, followed by a close examination of why those elements worked. Apprecative Inquiry can serve as a powerful facilitative tool in both planning and program evaluation. It is a collaborative and culturally-respectful approach that honors the experiences and voices of all participants. We infuse elements of Apprecative Inquiry throughout our work and have used it in strategic planning, developing data collection tools, articulating underlying assumptions that undergird a Theory of Change, and surfacing project outcomes. For an example of Appreciative Inquiry in a strategic planning process, click here and here:
4. Evaluation Capacity-Building. Present workshops on evaluative thinking and strategies; Train, coach and mentor internal staff. Capacity-building clients have included the Center for Community Engagement at Seattle University; the Comprehensive Education Health Foundation; EdLab; the Pacific Education Institute; and the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.
5. Strategic Planning Support. Conduct data collection and confidential board member interviews designed to inform the strategic planning process. Also conduct independent reviews of project outcomes. Findings are succinctly analyzed and reported back via internal meetings and memos.
We work in a variety of content areas. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Career awareness and workforce preparation
- Community and technical colleges
- School/business/community partnerships
- Teacher professional development
Community partnerships and civic capacity-building
- Advocacy and public will-building
- Community engagement
- Organizational collaborations and collective impact efforts
- Service-learning, national and community service
- Community empowerment
- Community Health Workers
- Peer-to-peer change models