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Funding for adolescent girls has been gaining traction in recent years. While feminist funders have traditionally focused on women and young people, there has been a drive to put more flexible funding in the hands of girl-led and girl-centered organisations.
This evaluation reviews and assesses the With and For Girls Collective, the With and For Girls Award and the awards journey with a view to drawing out lessons from the Collective's experience to help encourage funders to increase flexible funding and other resources to girl-led and girl-centered organisations globally.
The study, funded by Robin Hood, is the most rigorous, independent, third-party evaluation of group microfinance in the United States, assessing Grameen America's program, a microfinance model that provides small loans to low-income women entrepreneurs in the United States seeking to launch or expand small businesses.
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.;
For more than 20 years, we have supported work to improve population and reproductive health in India. After making significant progress in this field, particularly in the areas of maternal health and rights, we are preparing to exit the population and reproductive health field in India and are supporting a concluding round of grantmaking focused on maternal health quality of care.
Through this four-year strategy, we aim to advance maternal health by supporting a shift in the field's focus from access to quality of maternal health care. To accomplish this goal, the strategy backs three main areas of work or sub strategies: strengthening the supply of quality maternal health services, building the demand for quality services through accountability mechanisms, and building an evidence base and support for maternal health quality of care. The strategy officially launched in June 2015. Our evaluation partner, Mathematica Policy Research, documented early progress of the strategy through March 2017. Building on earlier evaluations of the strategy, this document provides findings from the midline evaluation covering April 2017 to March 2018.
NORC at the University of Chicago;
The International Connections Fund (ICF) was established in 2008 with the goal of helping Chicago nonprofit organizations advance their work by collaborating with peer organizations abroad. While eligibility criteria for ICF grants have shifted over the program's lifespan, this core mission has remained unchanged. During the life of the ICF program, MacArthur has administered 14 grant cycles, making 141 grants totaling more than $5.8 million. The majority of these grants—133 in all, totaling $5.4 million—have been awarded to support arts and culture projects. These projects have enabled Chicago artists, audiences, and arts and culture organizations to participate in international exchanges with counterparts from 63 different countries on six continents.
Ten years into the program, MacArthur commissioned NORC at the University of Chicago to take stock of how the program has operated; learn what impact it has made on ICF grantees, their collaborators, and audiences; and consider how the program can best serve future grantees as ICF enters its second decade. The evaluation reviewed 12 ICF grant cycles that took place between 2008 and 2016, during which 114 grants were made to 91 different arts and culture organizations.
Loyola University Chicago Center for Urban Research and Learning;
The Domestic Violence Outcome Project had a two-fold purpose: first, to identify the long-term outcomes and needs of those who receive services from domestic violence agencies, and second, to establish procedures for on-going evaluation within agencies. Working closely with 15 agencies that are members of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network, the researchers developed a survey to evaluate services and identify client needs. The services evaluated included court advocacy (e.g., assistance from an advocate in obtaining an order of protection), legal services (assistance from a licensed attorney with divorce or other court proceedings), emergency shelter, and counseling.
Development of the survey benefited greatly from extensive feedback from service providers and clients and from previous evaluation research. The Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network and the participating agencies administered the survey, which had both an on-line and paper option. Agency staff recruited participants, maintained contact with them over about 6 months, and then had them complete the survey. Here we present findings from analysis of data provided by 450 participants. We also include a discussion of the challenges encountered in sustaining ongoing evaluation in agencies.
One of the key findings of this report is that emergency safety needs (i.e., emergency shelter and getting an order of protection) are no longer the most prominent issues of concern for participants. Fewer than 5% of the sample reported currently needing shelter and fewer than 10% reported needing help getting an order of protection. In contrast, counseling/therapy is now the primary need reported by about 46% of participants. In addition, about a quarter of participants reported a need for help with those things that enable one to sustain a stable and independent household, which is critical to maintaining safety: economic assistance, either in the form of emergency cash, help with credit history, financial planning/literacy, food/clothing, health care, or work. Also, a sizeable minority of participants reported needs (both new and continuing from when they initially sought services) regarding divorce, child support, and visitation. These legal issues are likely to be related to the one outstanding safety concern reported by a substantial minority of survivors, managing contact with the abuser. Few differences among reported needs existed by race/ethnicity, parenting status, or level of socioeconomic resources.
This report begins with a brief introduction to how the project came about and a description of our research methods. Next we present the current needs reported by participants and consider whether there are differences in needs among participants by race/ethnicity, education and income resources, and whether or not they have children. We then examine the relationship of past services to current needs and satisfaction with past services. After that, we consider outcomes of receiving services (e.g., "As a result of receiving services, I feel safe from violence in my home"). Finally, we describe difficulties encountered in sustaining ongoing evaluation in agencies, such as high staff 7 turnover rates and the need for a program coordinator to maintain staff motivation. We conclude with a summary of the findings.
Taylor Newberry Consulting;
This 18-question self-assessment tool is meant to help organizations to identify and assess the state of learning in their organization. This tool is a starting point for discussion that can help identify areas of strength as well as areas for improvement.
Taylor Newberry Consulting;
This Question Bank offers users the ability to draw from a variety of questions that can help to inform and start a dialogue with grant applicants or recipients on their learning culture and goals. Some of these questions can be used in a grant application template or in a more informal conversation with a potential grant recipient. They may also be useful internally for discussing or reviewing a grant application.
In 2013, the United Nations projected that Africa would be home to over 40 percent of the global youth population by 2030. The challenge of how to successfully absorb these young people into the formal economy became top of mind for governments, policymakers and development practitioners.
Thinking toward this future, The Rockefeller Foundation recognized the potential of Africa's growing information and communications technology (ICT) sector to create new economic opportunities – particularly for its young people. The Foundation created its Digital Jobs Africa (DJA) initiative to help equip youth – specifically those with limited access to opportunities – with the technical and soft skills, and job placement support necessary to transition into a technology-enabled workforce.
Nearly five years into implementation, the Foundation commissioned an independent evaluation of DJA to better understand the extent to which it was realizing its goals and driving impact. Genesis Analytics was engaged to collect data and gather case stories from participating youth in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF);
Among the six-infrastructure themes that this assessment focused on, roads seem to have the highest amount of impact on the snow leopard habitat. Experts' ranking ranged from 61% for road to 12.4% for settlement. Impact due to high density road infrastructure on snow leopard habitat ranges from 5,725km2 to 17,775km2. Prediction maps show an area (greater than 90 percentile) measuring between 525km2 and 625km2 as high impact zone in snow leopard habitat, affected by infrastructural development. The study concluded that the current cumulative effect of infrastructural development on snow leopard habitat is low. However, future impact scenario shows an increase of 50% impact area, most of which within or traversing through the core snow leopard habitats. Therefore, it is likely that snow leopard habitats would be subjected to a high degree of fragmentation, deterioration and human disturbances in the future.
Note: This evaluation is accompanied by a blog post by the RAND Corporation about the initiative. Access these related materials here: https://www.macfound.org/press/grantee-publications/evaluation-investments-energy-efficiency-through-window-opportunity-initiative.
In the late 1990s, there was growing concern that the significant portion of subsidized rental homes that were coming to the end of their initial subsidy period would not obtain renewed subsidy and that the amount of affordable rental housing for low and middle-income families in metropolitan areas would fall to even lower numbers. Responding to this escalating concern, the MacArthur Foundation identified preservation of the existing stock of affordable multifamily rental housing as a pressing need. Consequently, the Foundation launched the Window of Opportunity: Preservation of Affordable Rental Housing initiative in 2000. The initiative would expand to become a 20-year effort, during which the Foundation awarded $214 million in grants and loans to a wide range of organizations including non-profit owners of affordable rental housing, state governments, researchers, financial institutions, industry associations, and advocates.
By 2011, the Foundation and its Window of Opportunity borrowers and grantees had increasingly recognized that energy costs of multifamily rental properties could be better controlled. To this end, the Foundation opted to extend Window of Opportunity with an explicit focus on increasing the energy efficiency of subsidized and unsubsidized multifamily affordable housing. Between 2012-2015, the Foundation awarded $27.5 million through 39 grants or loans as a part of what we term the Window of Opportunity - Energy Efficiency. The loans were Program-Related Investments, which were low-interest loans to create new business models or grow mission-oriented businesses. The Window of Opportunity - Energy Efficiency activities comprised a little over 10 percent of the overall $214 million Window of Opportunity initiative.
100 Resilient Cities (100RC) identified the need to transform public institutions, functions, and operations in city government as its primary strategy to affect how cities mitigate shocks and reduce chronic stressors, particularly for its poorest and most vulnerable citizens. The program promotes such practices as inclusive planning, comprehensive analyses of external shocks and internal stressors, consensus building, and cross-sector collaboration to effect systemic change in these cities. 100RC selected and has worked with three cohorts of 30 to 35 cities since 2013.
This midterm evaluation report provides the most recent findings of four studies assessing 100RC's objectives. Three studies relate to four core "pathways" along the program's theory of change to strengthen urban resilience: increasing resilience in cities, expanding the marketplace of resilience services and partners, and cultivating a community of resilience professionals and champions. The report also addresses features of the overall 100RC model and its organizational structure.
Oregon Community Foundation;
What happens when cultural organizations and artists/creatives receive early investment to stretch their practices and work in new ways when developing new work? This report documents the lessons learned from the first four years (2014-2017) of projects supported by Oregon Community Foundation's (OCF) Creative Heights Initiative. We hope that insights gained from these projects will build the capacity and confidence of other artists, creatives, and non-profits looking to stretch their creative practice, and encourage support for promising new work.