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  • 1 - Getting Started - Developing a Plan for Outcome Measurement
    board member or staff person requesting that you look at a particular program Do you have a new program with an unproven track record Do you have an existing service with shaky performance Do you have an effective program that you want to document as being so Once you have decided what program to evaluate explore the purpose for the outcome measurement processes There are a variety of reasons that could motivate outcome measurement including To support new program design and identify success in a new program area To support program redesign by determining whether the program s underlying theories and assumptions are correct To support funding requests and describe how you will measure a program or service s impacts To support staff or board planning processes and report on a program s impact To support a funder s request for evidence of the program s effectiveness To support internal reviews and determine whether to continue to allocate funding to a program To support organization wide quality improvement and refine program delivery Assemble a well rounded team The outcome measurement team will require a well rounded group with varying skill sets and a devoted leader As you begin to assemble your outcome measurement team consider who on your staff possesses the following skills Project coordination including laying out tasks in a sequence informing other staff of their roles and assignments providing assistance to the team as they complete their parts of the evaluation process and ensuring that the work is being done Service or program knowledge including the ability to identify the relationship between the activities being provided and the intended impacts and an understanding of the types of outcomes your program could achieve Computer skills including expertise in formatting surveys and other data collection instruments creating spreadsheets or databases

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/outcomemeasurement/default.aspx?chp=1 (2016-02-12)
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  • 2 - Understanding Outcomes - Developing a Plan for Outcome Measurement
    change When identifying outcomes it can be helpful to organize your thoughts in the form of an outcome chain that logically links your services to client learning behavior and eventually results Outcome statements capture the who what and how Formulaic straightforward outcome statements can help you develop your outcomes When crafting an outcome statement consider the details of the initiative you are providing the recipient of that service or program and the intended impact of that service on your target recipients For instance a youth serving nonprofit might identify the following outcome statements in relation to their afterschool programming Increased school engagement for participating students Reduced high risk behavior for participating students Increased high school graduation rates for participating students Outcome chains document correlative relationships Outcome chains can help organize your thinking about what you hope to achieve They require you to put your program theory to work and articulate how your activities will bring about the impacts in the organizations with whom you are working Outcome chains create a logical progression of the short term intermediate and long term outcomes that lead to your goals Consider the example of a large nonprofit that provides training to smaller nonprofit organizations The provision of training can create the following chain linking reactions learning behavior and results Not all organizations can and will measure all the different outcomes noted in an outcome chain Consider the example of the outcome chain above Your organization may not have the tools and resources to evaluate outcomes as they relate to reaction learning behavior and results If your circumstances do not allow you to evaluate all areas focus on the earlier outcomes noted in the outcome chain There is no point in measuring for results if you cannot point to the series of outcomes that impacted

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/outcomemeasurement/default.aspx?chp=2 (2016-02-12)
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  • 3 - Logic Models and Outcome Measurement - Developing a Plan for Outcome Measurement
    project while outputs describe activities in more finite numerical terms such as the units of service provided Lastly outcomes capture the changes benefits and overall impact that the program or initiative has had on an organization s client population Once a well developed logic model is in place an organization can begin to identify performance indicators that will help to measure the organization s progress towards its intended outcomes Ask the right questions When looking to identify the elements of your organization s logic model consider the following Inputs Resources What inputs or ingredients do you need to operate your program How many staff How large a budget How many clients do you have need Activities What will you do What methods will you use to deliver your program or activities What content areas will you cover What will you provide Outputs What will be the tangible products or units of your program or activity How many clients will you serve Outcomes What impact will your program or activities have on your clients What is reasonable to expect in the way of change Logic models capture underlying assumptions and program theory This connection between the activities you provide and the

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  • 4 - Developing Performance Indicators - Developing a Plan for Outcome Measurement
    are specific and observable In order to serve effectively as a bridge to data collection indicators must be specific items of information that describe observable and measurable characteristics or changes in corresponding outcomes Indicators must be measures that can be seen heard counted reported or enumerated using some type of data collection method Performance indicators answer questions like How you will know when changes have occurred and How you will know when you have achieved the outcomes Thinking ahead to possible data collection methods will tell you if your indicators are specific enough Ask questions like these to determine whether your indicators will work How can I see the change Through what kind of observation How can I hear the change Through interviews Focus groups How can I read the change Through surveys In records Indicators support larger outcomes You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site Be thorough yet realistic when identifying indicators Each outcome you identify will generally have one to three supporting indicators depending on the complexity of the outcome When selecting indicators keep things simple and be sure to collect indicators that are useful meaningful and informative Keep in mind that you will be responsible for measuring these indicators through your data collection process Consider the following checklist Do your indicators make sense in relation to the outcomes they are intended to measure Are your indicators directly related to the outcome Do they define the outcome Are your indicators specific Are your indicators measurable or observable Can they be seen i e observed behavior heard i e participant interview or read i e client records Is it reasonable that you can collect data on the indicators Is it within your resources to collect data Targets comparative standards and baselines give meaning to

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  • Summary - Developing a Plan for Outcome Measurement
    measurement process The better the planning the more impact the outcome measurement will have on your organization and your organization s bottom line You should now understand how identifying outcomes and outcome chains developing a logic model and identifying performance indicators and performance targets are integral parts of planning for the process of outcome measurement Thank you for taking the time to learn about developing a plan for outcome measurement Outcome measurement proves correlation not causation Keep in mind that outcome measurement explores what your program provides what its intended impacts are and whether or not it achieves them It will not prove that the changes that take place are a result of your program In order to prove direct causation an organization will need to take part in experimental research and a controlled study to link your specific programs and activities to results Naturally this requires considerable time effort and resources Learn more about outcome measurement at the links below Center for Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement This website from the Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Assistance provides basic information about initiating and planning evaluation processes and planning and links to other government resources on the topic

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/outcomemeasurement/default.aspx?chp=5 (2016-02-12)
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  • Partnerships: Frameworks for Working Together
    partnerships it s important to build on the strengths of all the participating organizations In recent years there has been an increased interest in partnerships that focus on community improvement Agencies at the Federal and state levels universities corporations and national nonprofits have all provided support to partnerships that have the capacity to produce community impacts Partnerships fall into different categories Diverse organizations often join forces to achieve shared goals around capacity building and community improvement Several types of partnerships are described below Partnerships among community based nonprofit service organizations Cross sector partnerships between nonprofits and the business government and or academic sectors Partnerships between donor organizations and recipients When community based nonprofits join forces each organization must have the organizational capacity necessary to manage projects budgets and staff involvement In community based partnerships decision making should be inclusive and deeply engage the community itself Cross sector partnerships are fairly simple to initiate but challenging to maintain Regardless of the goodwill of the participants two very different organizational cultures must come together to produce results One key is to find common ground and use shared language that underscores the vision of the partners Partnerships between donors and recipients can create confusion Is the partnership just about receiving money This type of partnership actually aims to take advantage of what the recipient as well as the donor can bring to the relationship For instance this might include local expertise on site workers or clarification of priorities and constraints Donors can t coerce recipients for the sake of obtaining resources into doing things they don t want to do Together both sides must define the terms of the relationship Partnerships can also be classified by their primary characteristics This list of partnership types might help you determine what kind of relationship you want to establish Collaboration involves great autonomy and no permanent organizational commitments or combined services Examples sharing information coordinating efforts Strategic alliance involves shared or transferred decision making power Examples joint programming administrative consolidation Integration involves changes to organizational structure and control mechanisms Examples joint ventures two or more organizations create a new structure to advance a program related function mergers previously separate organizations combine program administrative governance functions Funding alliance occurs when organizations come together to share a large grant donation or create a recipient donor relationship Cost sharing occurs when each organization provides different resources such as facilities staff or equipment Grant match occurs when one organization provides a grant and the recipient provides a match in services cash maintenance supplies or volunteers CHAPTER 3 Forming Partnerships As opportunities arise organizations need practical advice on whether or not to form strategic partnerships and if so where to begin the partnership development process When considering a potential partnership you may have questions such as What benefits can a partnership provide What organizations should we consider partnering with How do we get a partnership process underway The first step in developing a partnership is to define the need for a partnership The second step is to start the process The third step is to set up and maintain the partnership Remember a partnership should not be the end in itself but instead a means to an end Therefore establishing a partnership may not always be the appropriate decision for meeting your goals The first step in partnership formation is to define the need for a partnership The goal in partnerships is to achieve more than individual organizations can achieve on their own In other words the whole of the partnership is greater than the sum of the individual parts Identifying self interest is a critical part of this first step In defining the need for a partnership you should think not only about what the partnership can accomplish as a whole but also about the concrete benefits to your organization in particular Each potential partner should answer the following questions and discuss their answers together What are our short term interests What does our organization need to accomplish or gain in the next 12 months to stay engaged in the partnership What are our long term interests What does our organization need to accomplish or gain in the next 18 36 months to stay engaged in the partnership Possible answers might include additional organizational members or volunteers enhanced products or services greater community credibility or support and improved access to businesses agencies or foundations The second step in partnership formation is to start the process Partnerships have to be developed and nurtured in ways that respect and recognize all individuals Building relationships is not just the responsibility of organizational leaders but of everyone working in the partnership It s also important at the initial stages to agree on a set of ground rules for the partnership This may seem obvious but very few groups perform this fundamental requirement necessary for valuing and respecting the individual partners The stages of developing a partnership can be compared to the stages of team development forming storming norming and performing Forming involves bringing people together to start the partnership building process It s important that all members help determine the partnership goals structure and processes from the onset In the next stage after the group has met several times people start to question the purpose and direction of the partnership e g Why am I here What s my role Do we have the right priorities It s important to work through this storming stage so the group can be open and honest about their perceptions Norming is the stage in which the partners begin to develop protocols and reach shared agreements Performing is when the partners are working together smoothly and accomplishing their objectives The third step in partnership formation is setting up and maintaining the partnership There can often be ambiguity or conflict regarding the division of responsibility between the partnership and individual partners For instance it s often difficult to clearly distinguish between strategic and operational day to day decision making Partners may be reluctant to delegate authority to the partnership Therefore the partnership can establish a clearly written legal constitution or contract sometimes called a terms of reference This document sets out the key objectives procedures structure and outcomes of the partnership It s also essential that this document reflect the business plan or strategy that forms the basis of the partnership s work The document gives members an overview of how agreed upon action will be taken and develops a sense of shared responsibility for the partnership s achievements and failures It also gives the partnership some structure and boundaries to work within while allowing flexibility for change and growth During the setup stage partners can also develop a specific work plan and agree on their performance management processes so staff members know what they re meant to accomplish and how they re doing CHAPTER 4 Norms and Communication Structures Partnerships won t be successful without thoughtful attention to the relationship One issue to consider is how the partners should behave in the relationship Obviously cooperation is the ideal But what should you do if a partner does not cooperate or fulfill commitments in a timely manner The work of actively managing a partnership can be supported by partnership norms and communication structures Norms are informal agreements about how group members will behave and work together For example partners can set expectations for members behavior at meetings Communication structures are practical guidelines and frameworks that help individuals and groups hold productive discussions manage conflict and reach decisions For example partners might use a specific process for having open dialogue about difficult topics Norms and communication structures are useful tools for promoting healthy communication in partnerships Partnership norms can foster healthy work relationships Successful partnerships are managed by people who recognize the importance of cultivating healthy working relationships In a large partnership comprised of many relationships it s essential to establish guidelines on how partnership members will work together Creating and following partnership norms is an effective way to maintain healthy working relationships Although partnerships have contracts formal agreements between organizations that establish the goals structure and responsibilities of a partnership relationship these documents do not establish the how of the relationship Partnership norms are informal guidelines on how partnership members will behave and interact with one another These four steps will help you implement partnership norms Identify the shared values of the group In the partnership kickoff meeting engage your partners in dialogue about establishing norms often referred to as ground rules Identify the areas in which norms will be necessary Suggested areas include communication knowledge management resource management decision making conflict resolution and or meetings Take time to listen to each person s perspective on each topic Then as a group decide on what your shared values and norms will be Partnership norms must be agreed upon by all members of the group Document partnership norms and make them easily accessible Based on your shared values write statements that will serve as guidelines for behavior and how the group will work together For example if your partnership places a value on participant attendance at partnership meetings a suggested norm might read We will attend all partnership meetings regularly I will notify members in advance if I must miss a meeting I will ask another member of the group to debrief me within one week of missing any meetings Using we will or I will statements can help create ownership of the partnership norms Once your norms are documented make sure they re easily accessible to everyone in the group Consider posting your partnership norms on a shared website or virtual workspace Communicate the norms regularly By communicating your partnership norms frequently you emphasize people s accountability to the group s shared values Consider creating laminated cards or fact sheets that can be distributed to members You might also consider attaching a copy of partnership norms with all meeting notes or posting them in the meeting rooms Update the norms as needed As your partnership adds or loses members it s important to revisit your partnership norms But even if you maintain the same members throughout the relationship it s necessary to review and assess your norms based on the current stage of your partnership Partnership norms are only effective when all members of the group agree on the shared values Use communication structures to facilitate open discussion Open honest communication is a cornerstone of good partnerships It can be built by creating communication norms and using structures for facilitated discussion To facilitate discussion is to be intentionally conscious of a framework for use in dialogue Successful partnerships use consistent communication norms in every interaction and meeting They engage in open dialogue within established parameters and allow for healthy conflict Below are some suggestions for building strong communication Hire a consultant to train all staff and partners on facilitation techniques Build proficiency in two or more leaders who develop understanding of at least one proven model of communication and commit to using that model Each of the following books contains a practical communication framework Fierce Conversations Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time Susan Scott Difficult Conversations How to Discuss What Matters Most Douglas Stone et al Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes are High Kerry Patterson et al Crucial Confrontations Tools for Talking about Broken Promises Violated Expectations and Bad Behavior Kerry Patterson et al Implement leadership circles historically associated with African American traditions An example is Women s Leadership Circles a project of The Tides Center Participate in Courage to Lead workshops Provide executive leadership coaching for all leaders within partner organizations to help them explore values and understand different perspectives The most essential element is having a skillful facilitator and at least one alternate Facilitators must be able to uphold the decided on norms and dialogue framework All participants must agree to the norms and be willing to hold each other accountable Through facilitated communication partnership members must learn how to engage in productive conflict which is necessary in order for the group to implement community wide solutions CHAPTER 5 Managing the Partnership with Work Plans and Technology After the partnership s goals structure and procedures have been established the detailed work must begin At this point it s essential to develop a collaborative work plan in order to manage the partnership s activities and guide members efforts The best work plans establish buy in from members are realistic have measurable outcomes and hold people accountable Technology can be a powerful resource to strengthen implementation of collaborative work plans and support partnership norms and communication practices There are a host of platforms that allow you to effectively collaborate with partners online Four types of technology tools that can be used are methods for distributing information systems for collaborating systems for real time interaction and systems for managing the project Ensure your collaborative work plans have these key characteristics A collaborative work plan is a document that outlines the structure of work for the partnership or a specific initiative within the partnership Good work plans have the following characteristics Establish buy in Although collaborative work plans document the work breakdown for your specific tasks they alone cannot motivate people to action Increase your success rate by first establishing buy in for the plan from the members of your work group Are realistic It s important to be realistic when developing a collaborative work plan People want to see progress no matter how incremental Stay within the scope of your project Have measurable outcomes Consider developing immediate short term and long term outcomes for your collaborative work plan Identify how you will determine the success of your activities and efforts What indicators will you measure Hold people accountable Communicate group accountability and interdependence of activities Show how people s specific tasks impact the completion of the overall task Having an effective structure for open honest communication can support conversations about accountability as issues arise It can be tempting to let the lead organization serve as the center for collaborative work However when all partners host meetings facilitate gatherings or provide training to other partners responsibility is shared by all members This in turn increases feelings of ownership and long term commitment to the partnership Some of these technology platforms can help you manage your partnerships Technology platforms that support online collaboration vary in terms of the depth of collaboration their systems allow These platform categories include Methods for distributing information such as websites and electronic newsletters Systems for collaborating such as electronic mailing lists and document sharing Systems for real time interaction such as Internet forums and online meetings Systems for managing the project such as web based project management tools Technologies for distributing information are the least collaborative because they simply allow a lead organization to distribute information across a network They re useful when you need to share a new resource provide a deadline alert or update your partners on the status of a project To go beyond information dissemination consider using collaboration technologies platforms that allow multiple participants to have a voice These platforms for communicating and sharing data allow partners to have a conversation edit a document together share data with each other or all of the above Systems for real time interaction not only provide online collaboration but allow partners to work together online in real time replicating as closely as possible the experience of working in the same room And finally using web based project management tools allows a lead organization to be completely transparent with project plans roles responsibilities and deadlines For more information about online technologies for managing your partnership download this Technology Choices document by clicking the link CHAPTER 6 Partnership Challenges and Evaluation The challenges involved in managing your partnership will typically fall into two categories substantive issues and relationship issues Organizations tend to carefully consider substantive issues such as budgets or administrative arrangements But few pay adequate attention to a major cause of partnership failure relationship issues such as the inability to resolve conflict The key of course is for partnerships to focus on both types of issues Successful partnerships select someone to serve as a dedicated partnership manager This individual is responsible for the partnership s relationship management A partnership manager might support healthy relationships by coordinating communication between partners ensuring adherence to norms and collaboration processes spotting potential conflicts mediating disputes and tracking the health of the working relationship over time All partnerships need an ongoing process to monitor both substantive and relationship issues Broad evaluation questions might include Is the partnership meeting its aims and objectives How well is it performing and What lessons can be learned There are various challenges to sustaining effective partnerships It helps to anticipate potential barriers to working effectively with your partners Some barriers are substantive which means they involve financial strategic or technical issues Other challenges are relationship oriented These issues might relate to leader compatibility degree of trust joint problem solving capacity or conflict resolution ability Other challenges that partnerships may face include turf battles among stakeholders clashes between different organizational cultures rigid policies regarding intellectual property disputes over private sector engagement inappropriate staffing and role assignments the ups and downs of community politics and member burnout As the partnership evolves partners must identify whatever barriers exist and work together to resolve them Effective partnerships use monitoring and evaluation processes Partnerships need to create methods for evaluating and revising aims and objectives This means providing opportunities to learn what has been successful and what has not and to build these lessons into revised plans Formal performance management processes such as clarifying performance expectations and providing feedback also contribute to partnership monitoring and evaluation In addition it s important to monitor and report on the health of the working relationship between partners through use of a formal mechanism This helps identify simmering

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  • Interactivites
    tabs above for additional instruction Overview None The Meaning of Partnership Check your understanding of key partnership components Check your understanding of key partnership components Text version of audio here Types of Partnerships Check your understanding of different types of partnerships Check your understanding of different types of partnerships Text version of audio here Forming Partnerships These checklists will help you launch and set up a partnership These checklists will help you launch and set up a partnership Click the Evaluating Partnerships Starting the Process and Setting Up Checklists Text version of audio here Norms and Communication Structures This template can help you develop partnership norms This template can help you develop partnership norms Click this link to download the Partnership Norms Template Text version of audio here Read this case study about one organization s communication efforts Read this case study about one organization s communication efforts Click this link to download a communication case study Text version of audio here Managing the Partnership with Work Plans and Technology This worksheet can help you develop a collaborative work plan This worksheet can help you develop a collaborative work plan Click this link to download a worksheet that can help

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  • Interactivites
    chapter Press Play to hear the overview and pause at any time by pressing the Pause button on the bottom left of the player The buttons at the bottom right of the player allow you to control the volume and shift the video to full screen On Screen Text Below the player you will find on screen text This includes the detailed information you will need to know in order

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