Date: January 15, 2014
In recent years, a variety of national and regional foundations, and other social funders, have shifted their investments from supporting individual programs to catalyzing community or “system” level change efforts. These investments can reconfigure and realign systems to affect large numbers of individuals, and achieve impact “at scale,” but they also are inherently more complex and highly contextspecific. As a result, the path to impact often is less clear, especially early in the investment. Furthermore, determining which investment strategies, and under what conditions those strategies may produce results, can be challenging. In these circumstances, a developmental evaluation can inform and refine the investment strategy to increase the likelihood of impact, while identifying the most appropriate progress measures.