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The Learning Conference 2011

June 6–7, 2011

Baltimore, MD

A1: Developing a Strategic Learning and Evaluation System

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 8:30 AM–10:00 AM EDT
Tuscan Room (Third Floor)
Session description

Grantmakers and nonprofits increasingly are making investments in evaluation-related activities, such as grantee reporting, process evaluations and impact assessments. A Strategic Learning and Evaluation System aims to help organizations learn from their practices and experiences in ways that inform future actions by determining why, how, when and to what extent to evaluate various initiatives. Join experts and practitioners to explore what it takes to develop a SLES that can ensure grantmakers and nonprofits alike are allocating learning resources efficiently and in ways that inform strategic decision-making.

Participant learning goals

• Understand the relationship between strategy and evaluation, and the role of a Strategic Learning and Evaluation System in organizations
• Understand the various components of a Strategic Learning and Evaluation System
• Complete a self-assessment survey that provides insights into your own organization’s readiness for developing a Strategic Learning and Evaluation System
• Share your reactions and insights with other participants

Intended learning level

Adoption — strategies and tools for applying concepts and changing practices in your work


Hallie Preskill, FSG
Web site

Speaker Biography

Hallie Preskill is the executive director of FSG’s Strategic Learning & Evaluation Center. In her role, she works on a variety of evaluation and learning projects that span multiple sectors and program areas. Prior to joining FSG in 2009, Preskill spent more than 20 years in academia, teaching graduate-level courses in evaluation, training, organizational learning and appreciative inquiry. She has written five books and numerous articles on evaluation. In 2007, Preskill served as the president of the American Evaluation Association, and she received the AEA’s Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Award for Outstanding Professional Practice in 2002.

Jackie Williams Kaye, Wellspring Advisors
Web site

Speaker Biography

Jackie Williams Kaye is director of research and evaluation for Wellspring Advisors, a private philanthropic advisory firm that coordinates grantmaking programs that advance social and economic justice. Williams Kaye supports Wellspring staff and grantees in implementing evaluation and research to inform strategies and to learn from them. Prior to joining Wellspring, Williams Kaye spent 10 years integrating evaluation and learning into the grantmaking work at The Edna McConnell Foundation and at The Atlantic Philanthropies. She spent her early career as a researcher and program evaluator in public health, education and human services, and in recent years she has helped philanthropy improve evaluation of advocacy and policy change work.

John Bare, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Web site

Speaker Biography

John Bare is vice president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation in Atlanta and executive-in-residence at Georgia Tech’s Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship. A former journalist and media consultant, Bare holds a Ph.D. in mass communication research from the University of North Carolina.

Session Materials