Five Evaluative Practices

For the past five years, jdcPartnerships has more deeply and intentionally integrated an evaluative mindset to our work with our client partners. We state as such in our philosophy “Evaluative inquiry is a process and tool for informing and strengthening decisions, enhancing learning and increasing effectiveness (See full set of values and philosophy).

That is not to say that we do not value and support evaluation. We do. But it has been our experience that the art and science of being evaluative creates and supports a culture of systematic and purposeful inquiry, reflection and informed decision-making that strengthens alignment in support of impact. We see evaluation as part of being evaluative. Both of which should clearly support strategy and inform the business model.

What do we mean by Evaluative?  An organization that reaches beyond performance measurement and monitoring to embrace the relentless pursuit of quality and value by thinking and acting evaluatively to improve organizational performance. (W Martz, University Michigan)

In reflecting on our work and that of our clients, five practices surface as instrumental to moving towards an evaluative mindset. Note, that these are not about “capacity building” led by a consultant but really speak to an organizations’ willingness and readiness to ask itself some hard questions about what is getting in the way and what is working in service of “to what end.”

  1.  Know Thyself
  2. Leverage and Link Your Efforts
  3. Don’t Confuse What You Do with the Difference You Make
  4. Differentiate What You Want, Need to and Can Know
  5. Be Systematic Not Episodic

Over the next few weeks we will share more about each practice and some examples from our clients about their journey and the changes resulting from adopting these practices.

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