What's your culture?
Do you evaluate to satisfy your funder or do you do it to make your services better?
“Building an Evaluative Culture for Effective Evaluation and Results Management,” by John Mayne claims that an organization with a strong evaluative culture:
• engages in self-reflection and self-examination, using results to challenge and support what it is doing
• values challenges and genuine dialogue
• makes time to learn from the evidence, even if it means you learn about weak performance or mistakes
• encourages experimentation and change
A weak evaluation culture:
• gathers information on results, but limits its use mainly to external reporting
• acknowledges the need to learn, but doesn’t provide the time or structured occasions to do so
• claims it is evidence-seeking, but discourages all challenges
• talks about the importance of achieving results, but frowns on risk taking.
I say that most non-profits that I spoke with during this project had a mix from both areas.
What one evaluation strength you have and what’s one evaluation area that you’d like to work on?
LIke a lot of organizations, we try to do both. It is definitely a balancing act that sometimes leans more towards the funder's requirements.
We do our best to look closely at the results of the data that we collect. We find that not only does it help us improve our services, it keeps us focused on our mission.
It is about capacity - we have the desire but not always the resources that need. At CLO, we are excited about this project and its focus on small non-profits. We have a lot to learn and are so happy to share what we are learning through this project.