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The Learning Conference 2013

June 3–4, 2013

Hilton Miami Downtown, Miami, FL

A1. Building the Collective Capacity of Grantees for Learning

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 8:30 AM–10:00 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Concerto B
Session Designer

Matt Forti,The Bridgespan Group

Session Description

More and more, grantmakers are exploring ways to build grantees’ capacity for learning. Some have found success in engaging a range of partners to work with a cohort of grantees in designing and implementing evaluations, collecting data in real-time, facilitating the use of data to extract learning and inform decisions, and more. Join an interactive session to explore examples of this collective approach when used in different contexts — from geographically-based cohorts to those implementing a shared program model to those addressing a similar advocacy issue — with the common thread that evaluation is in service of grantee learning, not grantmaker accountability. Participants will be invited to share examples and generate a set of best practices for the field.

Session Learning Goals

Through this session participants will:
--Be exposed to a rich set of success stories and challenges around how grantmakers build collective capacity of grantees for learning
--Co-develop a set of best practices that will inform how participants can design and implement these approaches at their own institutions

Session Type



Matthew Forti, The Bridgespan Group

Matthew Forti is a Manager and co-head of the Performance Measurement Practice at the Bridgespan Group, where he helps nonprofits and funders design performance measurement systems for continuous improvement, most notably through his work with the Goldman Sachs Foundation’s 10,000 Women initiative, YMCA’s Achievement Gap Initiative, and Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative. Matt has spoken and written extensively on this topic, including through a monthly blog series for SSIR called Measuring to Improve ( Matt is also the Founding Board Chair of One Acre Fund, a nonprofit that assists over 130,000 smallholder farm families in East Africa to triple their crop yields.

Nancy Csuti, The Colorado Trust

Nancy Csuti is the Director of Research, Evaluation and Strategic Learning for The Colorado Trust. She is responsible for creating a framework for establishing strategic priorities, measuring results and evaluating the impact of the foundation’s work. She develops and oversees The Trust’s research, evaluation and strategic learning activities to maximize impact of The Trust’s agenda.

Prior to joining The Trust, Csuti lived and worked for more than a decade planning and evaluating public health projects throughout Asia and Africa. She holds a master’s degree in maternal/child health and a doctorate in international health/epidemiology from the Tulane School of Public Health.

Nancy MacPherson, Rockefeller Foundation

Nancy MacPherson joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 2008, as Managing Director of Evaluation, and is responsible for developing and managing the Foundation-wide evaluation function at strategy, Initiative and grant portfolio levels. Previously, Nancy worked for more than 25 years in development evaluation in Asia and Africa with international development organizations, the United Nations, multilateral and bilateral agencies. Most recently, she set up and managed IUCN’s Program Evaluation and Performance Assessment Systems and served as Special Advisor to the IUCN Director General. She has played key roles in the establishment and nurturing of a number of global and regional development evaluation professional associations, notably, the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS), the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) and the South East Asia Community of Practice in Evaluating Climate Change (SEA Change). Nancy has been a member of the teaching faculty at the World Bank’s International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) since 2002.

Session Materials