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The David and Lucile Packard Foundation: Evaluation and Strategy Support for the Marine Fisheries Program

Case Overview

FSG provided strategy, learning, and evaluation support for fifteen grantee NGOs of the Packard Foundation Marine Fisheries Program. This complex effort involves multiple collaborations, all with the goal of building demand for sustainable seafood, catalyzing improvements to threatened fisheries, and a shift away from current unsustainable practices.


The Challenge

The Packard Foundation’s grantees were increasingly improving coordination across efforts. Many of the groups began to recognize the opportunity to pursue discussions around shared priorities to accelerate impact and cross-NGO learning opportunities to inform their work. They needed new structures and processes that would provide timely data, generate high quality insights, and spark discussion among the NGOs. The approach to setting strategy and encouraging learning had to engage the NGOs as well as foundation staff in a participatory manner, ensuring that the perspectives of each group would be reflected in their new approach to working together.

Approach & Solutions

FSG was tasked with addressing a complex set of needs across this multi-actor collaboration. Our approach emphasized the development of a series of tools to encourage strategic thinking and learning among the NGOs, as well as a flexible role advising the NGOs on key issues.

FSG developed strategy and evaluation tools for the community based on an in-depth review of each grantee’s sustainable seafood efforts, a close examination of current collaborations, and extensive discussion with NGO leaders and the Packard Foundation. Among our major areas of focus was facilitating the grantees to co-create a Theory of Change that reflected the organizations’ different approaches to improving ocean health. This Theory of Change provided a valuable framework for both strategy and evaluation discussions throughout the engagement. We also designed several evaluation tools to assess progress of the NGOs work, and collected data with these tools. FSG then analyzed findings, shared findings with the Foundation and grantees, and led ongoing strategic discussions to reflect on the implications of the evaluation findings.

Additionally, FSG played an advisory role throughout the engagement in areas that supported development and evolution of the sustainable seafood movement. For example, we supported the grantees in identifying a need for shared strategic priorities, designing a process for selecting the priorities and subsequently supported sub-groups of grantees in planning and pursuing collaborative work in priority areas.

In combination, the learning and evaluation activities and strategic support by FSG have contributed to a culture of learning among the grantee community, an ongoing evolution of the Theory of Change, and the pursuit of shared strategic priorities.

About the Packard Foundation

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation invests in innovative people and organizations to improve the lives of children, enable the creative pursuit of science, advance reproductive health, and conserve and restore earth's natural systems.

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