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Disruptive Times Require Skilled Changemakers

Posted by Liz Weaver in February 2019

In this paper, Liz Weaver describes three elements that every changemaker needs when approaching complex challenges - a mindset shift, an agile and adaptable approach, and knowledge and skills in each of the five interconnected practice areas.

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Evaluation: Stop, Listen, and Change

Posted by Glenda Cooper on May 28, 2019

Evaluation takes courage and the willingness to change. When everything seems to be going well, it is especially important to take the time to reflect, to ask the tough questions and to be willing to hear inconvenient answers. What if the work you are doing is popular but not achieving its intended outcomes? What if you learn that the good work you are doing is actually increasing vulnerability and stigma for the people it’s intended to help?

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Why You Should Always Share Your Results

Posted by Lisa Attygalle on May 9, 2019

The part of the community change process that gets dropped most often is all that comes after the work is done. We host an event and then don’t do the debrief. We coordinate a year-long community of practice but don’t capture the way the meetings have impacted people. We convene neighbours for a community gathering and work day but don’t share how we did it and why people came.

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Rethinking How We Evaluate and Use Data

Posted by Duncan Field on April 15, 2019
Everyone, regardless of whether you consider yourself an evaluator or not, uses metrics. We track our finances, look at gas mileage and so much more. In a community change context, we often find ways to track the performance of things like marketing and communications, program delivery, and budgeting. Read More

Outcome Harvesting: Principles, Steps, and Evaluation Applications

Posted by Duncan Field on February 14, 2019

All throughout 2018 and into 2019, the Tamarack Institute has seen a large spike in interest in our Evaluation resources. This trend towards evaluating community change efforts is an encouraging one – it represents a move beyond programmatic interventions towards systems change, and how to evaluate the impact of our change efforts.

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Evaluating Systems Change Results: An Inquiry Framework

Posted by Mark Cabaj on December 18, 2018
At Tamarack’s Community Change Institute in Vancouver in 2015, Karen Pittman, CEO of the Forum on Youth Investment, shared a noble prize worthy piece of poetry:  Programmatic interventions help people beat the odds. Systemic interventions can help change their odds.
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Scaling for Systems Change: Rethinking Planning and Evaluation

Posted by Mark Cabaj on November 13, 2018

One of the most common pathways to systems change is to ‘scale’ a successful small-scale innovation.

The theory is simple. Social innovators develop and test a new model or practice that they think can make a positive difference (e.g., improve grade 3 reading rates, protect wetlands, reduce the racism some people encounter when trying to secure good housing). This is usually (but not always) organized as a pilot project. If the experiment is successful, they then work with funders and early adopters to expand the practice broadly enough that it can ‘change’ a system and generate widespread impact.


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