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Ontario Nonprofit Network;
When grantmakers ask the organizations they fund about their evaluation plans, they are typically motivated by a desire to achieve the greatest impact possible through their investment. They often hope to help the organizations they fund to do the same. However, these conversations sometimes veer off track, especially when nonprofits feel pressure to produce evaluation results that align with funders' preconceived ideas. Evaluation can turn into a tool for accountability and risk management rather than a tool for learning. One way to prevent this dynamic from developing is to make sure that grantmakers and grant recipients talk with one another about why they are interested in evaluating a particular project before they get into discussions of what should be measured and how data collection tools should be used.
This guide explores strategies that grantmakers can use to lay the groundwork for meaningful evaluation by focusing on learning rather than measurement early in the grant application process. We begin by defining what a learning culture or learning organization means and why it is important. Then, we discuss some of the key elements of learning organizations. Lastly, we outline some principles for grantmakers to help guide the development of a learning relationship with future grant recipients.
John Templeton Foundation;
If you've hiked among giant sequoias, stood in front of the Taj Mahal, or observed a particularly virtuosic musical performance, you may have experienced the mysterious and complex emotion known as "awe."
Awe experiences are self-transcendent. They shift our attention away from ourselves, make us feel like we are part of something greater than ourselves, and make us more generous toward others. But what is awe?
What types of experiences are most likely to elicit feelings of awe? Are some people more prone to experiencing awe? And what are the effects of awe?
While philosophers and religious scholars have explored awe for centuries, it was largely ignored by psychologists until the early 2000s. Since then, there has been growing interest in exploring awe empirically. This has led to a number of fascinating discoveries about the nature of awe, while also raising many questions still to be explored.
Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for death and disability, but its overall association with health remains complex given the possible protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption on some conditions. With our comprehensive approach to health accounting within the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016, we generated improved estimates of alcohol use and alcohol-attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 195 locations from 1990 to 2016, for both sexes and for 5-year age groups between the ages of 15 years and 95 years and older.
Columbia University Center for Public Research and Leadership;
This paper synthesizes the existing research on improvement networks in education and on how such networks can facilitate meaningful improvements in teaching and learning and ultimately in student outcomes. The paper's findings are drawn primarily from a critical literature review of empirical studies on education improvement networks, as well as from interviews with experts in the fields of professional networks and learning. By focusing on the networks most aligned to the NSI model, the paper is designed to provide a knowledge base for a formative evaluationof the NSI strategy, which BMGF has engaged the Columbia University Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) to conduct over the next two years.
Heartland Alliance National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity;
Implementing the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model boosts employment outcomes for transition-age youth facing barriers to employment. LifeWorks, a non-profit organization serving transition-age youth and their families in Austin, TX, realized that workforce models popular within the youth development field may not address the significant and complex challenges faced by their participants. LifeWorks staff began to look toward behavioral health approaches to employment and discovered the Individual Placement & Support model. This case study discusses how IPS offered LifeWorks a new approach to workforce support for youth that might better address the types of challenges their participants faced.
CLTS Knowledge Hub;
Discussions of gender in sanitation and hygiene often focus on the roles, positions or impacts on women and girls. Such a focus is critical to improving the gendered outcomes in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), as women and girls bear the greatest burden of WASH work yet are often excluded from planning, delivery and monitoring community WASH activities as a result of having less power, resources, time and status than their male peers. However, current efforts to improve sanitation and change social norms may not always actively engage men and boys in the most effective way. There is more to learn about how the roles men and boys actually play out in improving use of safe sanitation and improved hygiene practices and – if necessary – how the engagement strategies can be modified to make efforts more successful.
This issue of Frontiers of CLTS shares and builds on the learning from a desk study that explores examples of men's and boys' behaviours and gender roles in sanitation and hygiene. Of particular interest is the extent to which the engagement of men and boys in S&H processes is leading to sustainable and transformative change in households and communities and reducing gendered inequality.
The review focuses on men and boys: how to engage them (or not), how to mobilise them as allies in the transformation of S&H outcomes and the problems they contribute to and experience.
In 2017, Elrha's Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) launched a Challenge 'to understand how to design, implement, and evaluate approaches to user-centred sanitation that incorporate rapid community engagement and are appropriate for the first stage of rapid-onset emergencies' (defined as the first twelve weeks post crisis). A component of this Challenge involved undertaking a landscape review of existing community engagement practice and approaches that could be used to provide a background resource for Challenge participants. The review was carried out by Oxfam, the HIF's Research and Evaluation Partner for the project. It draws on published and grey literature and interviews with 15 key informants.
The State of Global Grantmaking Giving by U.S. Foundations is the latest report in a decades-long collaboration between Foundation Center and The Council on Foundations and aims to help funders and civil society organizations better navigate the giving landscape as they work to effect change around the world. The analysis reveals that global giving by U.S. foundations increased by 29% from 2011 to 2015, reaching an all-time high of $9.3 billion in 2015. In addition to a detailed analysis of trends by issue area, geographic region, population group, and donor strategy, this analysis also relates these trends to key events and developments, including the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the spread of Ebola in West Africa, and the increasing legal restrictions faced by civil society in countries around the world.
Taking personalized learning to scale in a school or district requires the difficult work of changing the way human beings do their work. Navigating the complicated relationships between students, teachers, parents, administrators, the public, and the local and state agencies is challenging enough on any given day, but aligning them all behind a new vision of how students can learn, and keeping them aligned long enough to implement that vision, is a challenge of an altogether different order. To understand and share how this journey plays out, we documented the implementation journeys of three different institutions, including their successes and challenges, their unexpected setbacks, and their sudden epiphanies.
Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at The University of Chicago;
We study how reported sexism in the population affects American women. Fixed-effects and TSLS estimates show that higher prevailing sexism where she was born (background sexism) and where she currently lives (residential sexism) both lower a woman's wages, labor force participation and ages of marriage and childbearing. We argue that background sexism affects outcomes through the influence of previously-internalized norms, and that estimated associations regarding specific percentiles and male versus female sexism suggest that residential sexism affects labor market outcomes through prejudice-based discrimination by men, and non-labor market outcomes through the influence of current norms of other women.
In July 2018, the Government of Israel tightened restrictions on goods and materials entering and leaving Gaza, noting that the measures were in response to Hamas sending incendiary kites and balloons into Israel. All goods were banned from exiting and many vital materials banned from entering. These restrictions further tighten the blockade – in place for 12 years – which severely limits or prevents the entry and exit of materials to Gaza. Over half the population of Gaza lives under the poverty line, and one million Palestinians in Gaza don't have enough food to feed their families.
This joint agency briefing calls for:
An immediate end to the blockade and opening crossings into and out of Gaza
All parties to refrain from using civilians in Gaza as leverage for political gain
The UN and the international community to support the lifting of restrictions and a long-term strategy for economic development in Gaza.
This report uses 2013–2015 International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) data to trace Swedish aid to Tanzania to its end use. It finds that general budget support (GBS) accounted for much of Swedish aid in 2013 and 2015, but could not determine final expenditures using IATI data. In the absence of GBS, the authors could only confirm that in 2014, 28 percent of Swedish aid arrived in Tanzania, via the government and Tanzania-based organizations. A key constraint to traceability is that Sweden does not require aid implementers to report to IATI. The report recommends that Sweden encourage such reporting.