Developmental Evaluation of a Collective Impact Initiative: Insights for Foundations

Key Points

The 2011 publication of John Kania and Mark Kramer’s influential paper, “Collective Impact,” caught the attention of organizations across sectors, including nonprofit organizations and philanthropies. The Colorado Health Foundation was one of the organizations that saw the potential of collective impact to help tackle the state’s complex, systems-level health issues.

This article describes a collective impact initiative and the role that developmental evaluation – and a realist framework – played in aiding both the initiative’s steering committee and the Colorado Health Foundation in making decisions about the initiative’s accomplishments and future.

The article highlights the developmental evaluation approach, how that informed decisions, and how it helped surface broader insights about the many challenges of doing highly collaborative work.

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The Foundation Review

Publication/Event Date:

June 2018

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Organization Learning and Evaluation