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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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From the Director's Desk

An introduction to the issue on Evaluation Methodology by HFRP's Founder & Director, Heather B. Weiss, Ed.D.

Theory & Practice

Evaluation Theory or What Are Evaluation Methods for?

Mel Mark, professor of psychology at the Pennsylvania State University and president-elect of the American Evaluation Association, discusses why theory is important to evaluation practice.

Promising Practices

Eight Outcome Models

Robert Penna and William Phillips from the Rensselaerville Institute’s Center for Outcomes describe eight models for applying outcome-based thinking.

Promising Practices

Evaluation and the Sacred Bundle

John Bare of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation explains how nonprofits can learn about setting evaluation priorities based on storytelling and “sacred bundles.”

Promising Practices

Assessing Nonprofit Organizational Capacity

Abby Weiss from HFRP describes the tool that the Marguerite Casey Foundation offers its nonprofit grantees to help them assess their organizational capacity.

Ask the Expert

What is strategic learning and how do you develop an organizational culture that encourages it?

John A. Healy, Director of Strategic Learning and Evaluation at The Atlantic Philanthropies, shares ways to position learning as an organizational priority.

Ask the Expert

What is the Campbell Collaboration and how is it helping to identify “what works”?

Robert Boruch, a founder of the Campbell Collaboration and professor of education and statistics at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses how the Campbell Collaboration and randomized trials contribute to evidence-based policy.

Ask the Expert

An Introduction to Theory of Change

Andrea Anderson is a research associate at the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change, where she focuses on work related to planning and evaluating community initiatives.

Questions & Answers

A Conversation With Gary Henry

Gary Henry makes the case for a paradigm shift in how we think about evaluation use and influence.

Evaluations to Watch

Evaluating Complicated—and Complex—Programs Using Theory of Change

Patricia Rogers of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology describes how a theory of change can provide coherence in evaluating national initiatives that are both complicated and complex.

Evaluations to Watch

The Knight Foundation's Approach to Cluster Evaluation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Wellsys Corporation describe how they plan to aggregate lessons learned across a "thematic cluster" of youth development investments.

Beyond Basic Training

Ten Strategies for Enhancing Multicultural Competency in Evaluation

Teresa Boyd Cowles of the Connecticut Department of Education offers self-reflective strategies evaluators can use to enhance their multicultural competency.

Beyond Basic Training

The Evidence Base for Increasing High-Achieving Minority Undergraduates

Mehmet Öztürk discusses findings from a review of evaluations of programs at selective colleges and universities to be used for improving undergraduate academic outcomes for underrepresented minority or disadvantaged students.

Beyond Basic Training

Building a Pipeline Program for Evaluators of Color

Rodney Hopson and Prisca Collins of Duquesne University describe a new graduate internship program designed to develop leaders in the evaluation field and improve evaluators' capacity to work responsively in diverse racial and ethnic communities.

Beyond Basic Training

The Retrospective Pretest: An Imperfect but Useful Tool

Theodore Lamb, of the Center for Research and Evaluation at Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, discusses retrospective pretests and their strengths and weaknesses.

New & Noteworthy

The New & Noteworthy section features an annotated list of papers, organizations, initiatives, and other resources related to the issue's theme of Evaluation Methodology.

This issue of The Evaluation Exchange was published by Harvard Family Research Project. The managing editor for the issue is Julia Coffman, consultant, and the contributing editor is Erin Harris, research analyst. It was produced by Stacey Miller, publications/communications manager, and Tezeta Tulloch, publications editor. All rights reserved. This periodical may not be reproduced whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. To request reprint permission, email

Harvard Family Research Project gratefully acknowledges the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the C. S. Mott Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of Harvard Family Research Project and do not necessarily reflect the view of our funders.

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© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project