Evaluation 2016: Evaluation + Design

View Printable Version

Evaluating Prizes, Challenges and Competitions

Session Number: 2730
Track: Nonprofit and Foundations
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Innovation, philanthropy
Session Chair: Nancy MacPherson [Managing Director, Evaluation - The Rockefeller Foundation]
Discussant: Patricia Rogers [Professor - ANZSOG Aust & NZ Schl of Govt]
Time: Oct 27, 2016 (02:00 PM - 02:45 PM)
Room: L508

Abstract 1 Title: The Power and the Pitfalls of Prizes
Presentation Abstract 1:

Drawing on several decades of experience in innovation in prizes and challenges, prize specialist Jaykumar Menon will discuss lessons and findings from reviews of the design, selection, award, management and outreach of major prizes and challenges, as well as issues of diversity of solvers, legal rights to the work, sustainability of the benefits and unintended consequences. 

From his experience as founder of the X Prize operations in India (an innovation-oriented group funded by the founders of Google and Facebook that awards $10+ million incentive prizes to teams that achieve targeted “radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity”) to his current advisory work for the Tata Trusts and peer review of prizes for the The Rockefeller Foundation, and studies by McKinsey and Deloitte, Jaykumar will share valuable findings and insights for evaluators and prize managers.




Presentation 1 Other Authors: Jaykumar Menon, Professor of Practice, Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University
Abstract 2 Title: Measuring the Impact of Innovation through Prizes and Challenges
Presentation Abstract 2:

Comprised of Foundations, bilateral and multilateral agencies the Working Group on Measuring Impact in Innovation focuses on the use of new approaches to measuring impact in innovation. Among the findings of the Working Group, the field of prizes and challenges stands out as a notable area requiring concerted attention from the evaluation community. This presentation will highlight measurement challenges related to the use of prizes and challenges in member agencies of the Working Group and the Grand Challenges Network, including issues related to scale, timeframe for impact, uncertainty in measuring emergent ideas and innovation.

Presentation 2 Other Authors: Jean Arkedis, Program Director, Results for Development
Audience Level: Intermediate, All Audiences

Session Abstract: 

The use of prizes and challenges as incentives to foster innovation and to achieve impact quickly is increasing exponentially. Investments in these popular mechanisms by the public and private sectors and philanthropy are now estimated by McKinsey and Deloitte to be in the billions of dollars. Yet they are seldom evaluated as part of regular program evaluation to determine how well they actually deliver impact and durable benefits.

However evaluation practice is steadily growing in this exciting new field and important lessons are emerging. This panel will highlight the findings and lessons from recent evaluations and peer review processes of multimillion dollar prizes and challenges supported by a range funders in the US, Asia, Africa, Latin America. Evaluators and prize managers from Foundations and NGOs will offer their insights on the implications of these findings for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Prizes and Challenges.


For questions or concerns about your event registration, please contact registration@eval.org or 202-367-1173.

For questions about your account, membership status, or help logging in, please contact info@eval.org.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 3, 2016. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. Fax request to (202) 367-2173. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 3, 2016 all sales are final.