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?”
This tool is included in our list of TEN NOTABLE RESOURCES FOR EVALUATING CROSS-SECTOR COLLABORATION .