More than 250 community development practitioners, public officials, researchers, and funders gathered for a one-day symposium titled “Beyond Measure: Using Evaluation to Build Evidence and Drive Learning” at NeighborWorks America’s National Training Institute in mid-December. NeighborWorks America CEO, Eileen Fitzgerald, and COO Chuck Wehrwein, welcomed and addressed the crowd. This exciting day of cutting-edge thinking and interactive sessions provided multiple opportunities to hear from funders, social impact investors, academics, policymakers, and practitioners who are working at the forefront of community development evaluation.
Of particular focus was the critical issue of how to most effectively integrate evaluation into community development and funding efforts in order to help drive organizational learning and enhanced decision making. Success Measures was referenced at key points throughout the day by leading practitioners for its unique participatory evaluation work. A mid-day case study session on “Learning from Evaluation in Action: Examples from Citi Foundation’s Financial Capability Demonstration Project and NeighborWorks America’s Stabilization Program” highlighted the important role that Success Measures evaluation tools, indicators, and technical assistance have played in continuing to grow and refine critical outcome evaluation initiatives in the community development field.
Timely and thought-provoking keynote addresses were delivered by Mario Morino, co-founder and chairman of Venture Philanthropy Partners, Founder and Chairman of the Morino Institute, and author of “Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity” and Lisbeth Schorr, Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Social Policy and Lecturer in Social Medicine, Harvard University, and the author of “Common Purpose: Strengthening Families and Neighborhoods to Rebuild America”.
The Symposium was presented with generous support from Citi Foundation and endorsed by Enterprise Community Partners.
For additional information on Mario Morino: www.leapofreason.org