Skip to main content

Drawing from literature and research, as well as more than a dozen interviews with foundation leaders, evaluation practitioners, and social sector thought leaders, this learning brief kicked off the conversation around Next Generation Evaluation characteristics and approaches.

Top Takeaways

  1. A number of recent changes have created the need for the social sector to learn more effectively, including philanthropic innovations, different rules of interaction, and the proliferation of digital infrastructure.
  2. Recognizing that these trends constitute a fundamental change to the context in which evaluation operates led us to try to understand how social sector organizations think about and practice evaluation differently.
  3. 6 characteristics unite the social sector’s most promising efforts to expand its practice of evaluation, as well as 3 game-changing approaches.
Three approaches have emerged that embrace Next Generation Evaluation characteristics and have the potential to change how we view evaluation in a significant way: developmental evaluation, shared measurement, and big data.