This is an Eval Central archive copy, find the original at evalacademy.com.
Welcome to our monthly roundup of new and noteworthy evaluation news and resources – here is the latest.
New and Noteworthy — Resources
What is a theory of change?
Stanford’s Social Innovation Review (SSIR) published an article in its fall 2020 magazine titled “Unpacking the Theory of Change.” In this article, Maoz Brown unpacks and organizes into a framework the various meanings to the term “theory of change” and its various objectives. As Brown explains, we would all love one clear and consistent explanation for how ToCs are to be used; however, the article “aims for a more realistic goal” of how to think about and express ToCs differently.
If you’re looking for a quick, light-hearted review of ToCs then check out Chris Lysy’s (@evalcentral) “What is a Theory of Change? Cartoon Glossary.
Systems change – the “do nots”
This recent article by SSIR explores the history of “systems enthusiasm” and how to continue to progress systems thinking. The authors explain there is no consensus on what is working from a “genuine systems perspective.” However, they offer a “thou shalt not” list that compares the principles and characteristics of a systems approach to a traditional approach (i.e., the though shalt nots) as a means for informing how to advance change.
Evaluating organizational change efforts
The Centre for Evaluation Innovation (CEI) recently released a brief that describes an evaluative approach it took to an organizational change process at the Fetzer Institute. CEI describes the “hybrid participatory case study” approach they took, what that means, why they chose this approach, the steps for this approach, the outcomes of this work, and CEI’s reflections on this approach. If you are supporting organizations as they embark on organizational culture change efforts then definitely check out this resource!
New and Noteworthy — Conferences, Webinars and Courses
Organized by: Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation
Dates: January 26 – 28, 2021
Sponsors/Presenters: The Rucks Group and Dr. Morakinyo Kuti, Project Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s funded STEM Success Center
Date: February 4, 2021
Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm EDT
David Kurfurst and John Biles (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada)
Dr. Leah Hamilton (Mount Royal University),
Vicki Sinclair and Kathy Sherrell (Manitoba Association of Newcomer Organizations and Immigrant Services Society of BC)
Date: February 5, 2021
Time: 1:00pm EST
Presenters: Emma Leeburg, Lyssa Wilson Becho
Date: February 24, 2021
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST
Instructor: Clear Horizon Academy
Start Date: February 12, 2021
Sponsor/Instructor: EnCompass Learning Center / Kerry Bruce
Start Date: February 1 (9:00am – 12:00pm EDT); February 3 (9:00am – 12:00pm EDT)
Sponsor/Instructor: EnCompass Learning Center / Donna Podems
Start Date: February 24 (9:00am -12:00pm EDT); February 25 (9:00am – 12:00pm EDT)