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Falling in Love with the Rules

Program & Systems Design, Research & Evaluation, Uncategorized

51dYGzGi6rL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_-2NOTE: A version of this post was originally published at Tamarack’s Communities Collaborating Institute Online.

Here at Taylor Newberry, when we do evaluation work, we try our best to create surveys and tools that are thoughtful, accessible, and useful.   We try to avoid creating mindless paperwork.  I have just finished reading The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, by David Graeber, and it makes me think perhaps we have to be even more vigilant to guard against the creep of bureaucracy.   Read More

Simple Tips for Communicating about Impact

Capacity Building, Research & Evaluation

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 9.59.04 AMThis blog was written by Ben Liadsky of ONN and Andrew Taylor of TNC.  It was originally published on the website of the Ontario Nonprofit Network

Over the last year, Taylor Newberry Consulting has been working with the Ontario Nonprofit Network on  the development of a Sector Driven Evaluation Strategy.  In this process, we have learned that one of the tricks to succeeding at outcome evaluation happens before you even get to the stage of designing surveys or completing reports. It involves focussing your measurement on a small number of concrete, measurable outcomes that are more or less within your control. Picking those outcomes can be challenging, and explaining them effectively to your target audiences can take some practice. So, one of the first steps in measuring impact is getting into the habit of talking about your work in impact language. This blog offers a few simple tips that might be helpful, even if you don’t have a lot of impact data yet. Read More

Why Evaluators and Networkers Need Each Other

Capacity Building, Collective Impact, Research & Evaluation


Reflections from the Ontario Nonprofit Network Annual Conference


Patways from Evidence to ActionOur byline at TNC is “evidence, insight, action,” and this website includes a number of stories that show how evaluation can really equip organizations to act in new and powerful ways. However, evaluation does not always or automatically lead to action. It is nothing more than a set of strategies, and any set of strategies can be misunderstood or misused. Sometimes, in fact, evaluation can actually have the opposite of the intended effect. The process can lead to frustration, mistrust, and stagnation.

So, what makes the difference? Read More