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Transforming Evaluation Practice Together

The need for evaluation to deliver on its promise – to surface insights that can help social sector organizations advance equitable, durable change – has never been greater than it is today. But for evaluation to realize its potential, funders and evaluators must learn to collaborate in new ways and to shed unproductive norms and practices.

Toward that end, the Funder & Evaluator Affinity Network (FEAN) recently released its Call to Action series, a collection of five briefs that address urgent challenges in philanthropic evaluation and provide actionable recommendations for achieving a stronger, more equitable field of practice.

The series is the culmination of a multi-year effort by FEAN, an informal membership group, to transform the way foundation staff and evaluation consultants work together and to mobilize them to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the field.

Developed by teams of volunteers from FEAN’s membership, the five Call to Action products are:

The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation’s Senior Evaluation and Learning Officer, Ashleigh Halverstadt, co-led the Knowledge Sharing team with Janet Camarena, Director of Candid Learning at Candid. The team was convened to address a longstanding challenge in philanthropy: evaluation findings are rarely made public, contributing to a knowledge ecosystem in which what you know depends on who you know.

In response, the team penned an open letter to the field and developed a set of tools designed to help funders and evaluators overcome the most common barriers to knowledge sharing. We invite you to join the movement and pledge to make knowledge sharing a priority in your organization by signing the open letter.

FEAN’s Call to Action series is an inspiring example of what can be achieved when we come together with shared values in pursuit of common goals. We hope you will explore these new resources, share them widely, and join in evolving evaluation practice to better serve the public good.