The Blind Men and the Elephant: Learning a Little at a Time About Civic Engagement

  • This article, written from the perspective of the evaluator, describes what happened in one community in which four non-collaborating funders were supporting community development programs.
  • The Treeline Collaborative evolved from grassroots origins to become a leading organization in the community, serving as a one-stop shop for many programs and providing a structure for civic engagement of residents.
  • A collaborative evaluation would have enabled a deeper understanding of the Treeline Collaborative, the outcomes it attained and missed, and the multiple roles it plays in the community, perhaps leading to more effective program and funding decisions.

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