Mixing Apples With Oranges-- Using Meta-analysis To Synthesize Evaluations of a Diverse Portfolio: Example from the Social Innovation Fund

Session Number: 1295
Track: Nonprofit and Foundations
Session Type: Demonstration
Tags: meta-analysis
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Xiaodong Zhang [Fellow - ICF ]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Jing Sun
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Lily Zandniapour [Research and Evaluation Manager - Corporation for National and Community Service]
Time: Nov 11, 2017 (09:15 AM - 10:00 AM)
Room: Virginia B

Theme: Learning to Enhance Evaluation
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Meta-analysis of evaluations of social programs has taken on increasing policy importance. Using the example of the National Assessment of Social Innovation Funds (SIF), the workshop illustrates how meta-analysis can be used as a rigorous and efficient tool to synthesize findings across diverse evaluations and promote learning to action at the portfolio level. Presenters will provide background about the program, discuss why the method is most appropriate; show step-by-step on how the analysis was done; discuss key methodologies and approaches; and conclude with a discussion with the client about how the results have been communicated and disseminated with stakeholders within and beyond the agency. The SIF combines public and private resources to grow the impact of innovative, evidence-based solutions in three core areas: healthy futures, youth development, and economic opportunity. The meta-analysis found that SIF interventions generated meaningful and statistically significant impact overall and across sectors.