Evaluation 2019: Paths to the Future of Evaluation: Contribution, Leadership, and Renewal

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Strategic Learning: A Funder-Evaluator Panel on Responsive Approaches to Evaluating Complex Initiatives

Session Number: 2482
Track: Organizational Learning & Evaluation Capacity Building
Session Type: Panel
Session Chair: Jackie Statum Allen
Discussant: Jackie Statum Allen
Presenter 1: Sengsouvanh (Sukey) S Leshnick [Director, Education Division - Social Policy Research Associates]
Presenter 2: Sengsouvanh (Sukey) S Leshnick [Director, Education Division - Social Policy Research Associates]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Daniela Berman, Social Policy Research Associates [Associate - Social Policy Research Associates]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Daniela Berman, Social Policy Research Associates [Associate - Social Policy Research Associates]
Time: Nov 15, 2019 (03:30 PM - 04:15 PM)
Room: CC 101 G

Abstract 1 Title: Regional Scan of Individualized Learning: Strategic Learning and Movement Building
Presentation Abstract 1:

The Bush Foundation believes that making education more relevant for all students requires individualizing learning to each student. The Foundation launched its individualized learning initiative in 2016 with the goal of helping the region become the national leader in individualizing education. With this initiative, the Bush Foundation seeks to equip the field with the tools and resources necessary to build a movement towards individualized learning. Grounded in the principles of strategic learning, the Bush Foundation and SPR embarked on an 9-month journey to explore key lessons, best practices, and challenges of individualizing learning in the region. This panel discussion will describe how the Bush Foundation is using the learning from the scan to enhance its strategy, and inform its key levers for change: inspire, equip, connect.

Abstract 2 Title: Intermediary Investments: Strategic Learning and Authentic Engagement
Presentation Abstract 2:

Using the learnings from SPR’s regional scan, the Bush Foundation has made significant investments in intermediary organizations working to build the capacity of more schools in the region to do individualized learning. This is the foundation’s first concentrated effort to spark change in a significant number of schools. As a strategic learning partner, SPR is approaching the evaluation of these investments from a developmental frame centered on learning and sense making that prioritizes responsiveness and adaptation as new learnings are surfaced.  This panel discussion will describe the ways in which the Bush Foundation and SPR approach their relationship as partners in learning, and how they use this evaluation to engage authentically with stakeholders to make meaning of evaluation findings in ways that contribute to learning for everyone.


Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

This panel will discuss strategic learning, an approach to evaluation that works well with complicated and complex initiatives that evolve over time and have multiple ways of achieving outcomes. These strategies present unique challenges to conventional program evaluation and require new approaches to ensure that evaluation is relevant and useful.  The Bush Foundation has been engaged in a strategic learning partnership with Social Policy Research Associates (SPR) around its individualized learning strategy to use evaluation for real-time learning and to adapt strategies based on lessons learned and changing circumstances. Strategic learning means making evaluation a part of the strategy or initiative—embedding it so that it can influence decision making.  This panel will describe the concept and principles of strategic learning and how it differs from traditional evaluation approaches. Presenters will describe what strategic learning looks like in practice and will discuss innovative methods to promote strategic learning.

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Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 11, 2019. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 11, 2019 all sales are final. For Evaluation 2019, international attendees and presenters who encounter complications due to the international travel environment will have up to 30 days after the event to request a refund and submit appropriate documentation. No administrative fee will apply for approved international requests.