Due to a lack of standardization of outcomes in the field of home visiting, parenting programs, and child trauma, the Communities program launched a capacity building project in 2013 in partnership with 30 grantees funded through Chicago Tribune Charities. The goal of the project was to determine appropriate data to use in evaluating program impact, increase capacity of organizations to use data for decision-making and quality improvement and allow for benchmarking and cross-agency learning through grantee convening.
Now, after more than a year, we are seeing the results of work on behalf of our grantees and staff. The short-term results of and learnings from the project are as follows:
Broadened the standardized data we collect beyond client-level behavior changes (shown through evidence-based tools) to include best practices and program level indicators.
Developed a new application and rubric to evaluate programs that take into account grantee input and guidance, and emphasizes theory of change.
Provided evaluation capacity building of grantees through learning communities, training, technical assistance and evaluation coaching. Grantees drove the content of the cross-learning convening, evaluation coaching, and group trainings.
The next phase of the project is to continue providing opportunities for cross-learning, evaluation coaching and training. We will carry on discussions with public and private funders regarding interest in collaborating, and are partnering with Loyola University to study the impact of the evaluation coaching model on the individual grantees involved.