Authorization to Support Program Evaluation


Commonwealth Fund staff are charged with understanding the impact of their grantmaking and basing funding and recommendations on evidence of effectiveness. This requires grantee partners who are equipped to gather and communicate high-quality evaluative data about their work. Collecting outcome data, however, can be a particular challenge for grantees that provide technical assistance, peer learning, expert convenings, and other kinds of indirect support to practitioners and decision-makers so that they, in turn, can effect policy, practice, or system change. These grantee partners are often engaged with high-level policymakers or elected officials, which complicates their ability to gather systematic evaluative information on the effects of their work. Every year, the Fund awards grants to approximately 20 grantees who are engaged in this type of work but lack the expertise, time, and resources to evaluate the impact of their efforts. This project will enable a team of professional evaluators to provide evaluation coaching and technical assistance to a cohort of 10 to 15 Fund grantees. Over the course of a year, the evaluators will conduct workshops, provide resources and tailored coaching via webinar or subgroup gatherings, and deliver one-on-one technical assistance. Evaluators will survey and gauge grantees’ current capacity for monitoring and evaluation, capitalizing on the information grantees already collect while looking for opportunities to integrate “light touch” data collection into existing communications with partners. Grantees will learn to gauge and assess the effects of their work and their contribution to policy and practice change. Coaching and technical assistance will lead to improved outcomes reporting by grantees as well as increased confidence in grantee-reported data among Commonwealth Fund staff. The coaching and technical assistance will help build grantee staff capacity around sustained monitoring and evaluation.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
The Commonwealth Fund
Principal Investigator:
Michelle M. Doty, Ph.D.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
July 13, 2016

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