This Toolkit looks at the complex process of evaluating collaborative efforts. “Familiar evaluation practices — ones largely built on a discrete or distinct program delivered by one agency — don’t seem to work. Field staff have begun raising a variety of questions which indicate the following evaluation challenges:
- How can we set realistic outcomes when other collaborators are involved?
- How can we measure outcomes when collaboration is often long-term and dependent on so many factors?
- We are supposed to be working together but I have to report my own accomplishments to my superiors. How can I take some credit for my collaborative work without undermining the effort?
- I’m being asked to join every collaborative. It seems that all I do is go to meetings. How do I know when to be involved, what my role should be, and when to say no?
- Is evaluating the process of the collaborative good enough or do we need to measure the outcomes of our work?
- What do I report to my agency when they want to know what impact I’m having?
- When we are all in this together, how do we distinguish one agency’s role from another agency’s role?”