Community change initiatives are working on a diversity of issues across the country, such as early childhood development, health care, education, poverty and homelessness, immigration and workforce development, but evaluating the progress and impacts of these initiatives is an ever-present challenge.
In the last six years, the Tamarack Institute team has run 10 iterations of the Evaluating Community Impact: Capturing and Making Sense of Community Outcomes workshop, a three-day session to introduce social innovators, evaluators and funders of community change initiatives to the latest and most practical evaluation ideas and practices.
Building on the series, the Evaluation + Design: Evaluating Systems Change workshop aims to go deeper on one of the most critical – and difficult to assess – challenges of making sustained progress on complex issues: evaluating the changes in the systems underlying complex challenges. As Karen Pittman, CEO of the Forum on Youth Investment and past presenter with the Tamarack Institute noted:
This workshop is best suited to those who have an interest and some basic knowledge and experience with evaluation and are eager to tackle the challenging but critical task of getting feedback on local efforts to change communities. It is not designed for professional evaluators with extensive experience in evaluating systems change.
- You manage programs that need to be evaluated
- You are part of a collaborative that is trying to understand how to evaluate
- You are a community development professional who wants to make the connection between learning and systems change
- You are in a Collective Impact network and wanting to understand shared measurement
- Evaluation is part of your job description
This workshop will be led by Mark Cabaj and Galen MacLusky. Mark is a leading practitioner in Canada in developmental evaluation and has worked in community change his entire life. Galen is Tamarack's Community Innovation Consulting Director; prior to joining Tamarack, Galen was an independent consultant and head of the social sector practice at Bridgeable, a leading Canadian service design consultancy.
Together, they have designed this workshop to incorporate their practical experiences in designing evaluations for systems change, as well as the challenges and opportunities they've faced doing so.