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Notes for a presentation to the EEN (Canada) Forum Blair Dimock

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Sharing Practical Learning: the Future Fund experiment. Notes for a presentation to the EEN (Canada) Forum Blair Dimock Director, Research, Evaluation and Knowledge Management October 1, 2010. Regular granting vs. the Future Fund. Community Grants vs. Future Fund.

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Sharing Practical Learning: the Future Fund experiment

Notes for a presentation to the EEN (Canada) Forum

Blair Dimock

Director, Research, Evaluation and Knowledge Management

October 1, 2010

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Strengthen the impact of organizations in Ontario working on environment issues by enhancing leadership and building capacity through investments in innovation and collaboration.

Future Fund initiative for the environment sector

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“What will it take to build the capacity of the environment sector, in order to increase its impact?”

OTF can play a valued role by strengthening the links between grass-roots and large environmental non-government organizations.

Capacity building requires a long-term commitment.

If we introduce a “high engagement” approach to evaluation and monitoring, we will learn more effectively and increase our likelihood of success.

If we invest in innovative collaborations, the capacity of the sector will be enhanced, and its impact will increase.

Granting in high volume leaves little time or resources for effective learning.

If we take a portfolio approach to grantmaking decisions, the impact of the initiative will be greater.

Granting widely and for short-term projects may lessen our impact and not lead to lasting results.

Hypotheses

Insights

Opportunities

Ground Truth

The environment sector in Ontario is smaller, less developed and has lower capacity than the other sectors we fund.

Future Fund Round 1

The sector is made up of a few large, high capacity organizations and many small organizations who lack capacity in key areas.

High engagement staff team

Design of evaluation plan

As the largest funder of environmental organizations in Ontario, OTF has an opportunity to be a leader in helping the sector achieve greater impact.

Learning circles (grantees and staff team)

Future Fund Round 2

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Triad of results, process and relationships guide the plan

Complex issues have no quick-fix

Focus on intermediate outcomes

Grantees as partners in the process

Little evaluation culture in the sector

“Evaluation” is intimidating

Evaluation is at the bottom of the ‘to do’ list

Collaborative Evaluation/Evaluating Collaboratives

evaluation from lessons learned to action learning
Evaluation: from “lessons learned” to “action learning”

OTF and grantees to plan for evaluation up front, including logic model

Capacity building support is provided, both financial and in-kind

Benefits to the project:

Ensures a common understanding of project objectives and activities among participating organizations

Focuses attention on measurable results

Provides an opportunity to fine-tune project plan

towards a learning agenda
Towards a Learning Agenda

Learning is embedded in all of our activities

 What are we learning about collaboration, capacity building and innovation from this collective experience?

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OUTCOME

Emergent Learning Logic Model

Framing Question

Hypothesis

Hypothesis

Hypothesis

Action Learning Plan

thank you
Thank you

www.trilliumfoundation.org

[email protected]

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