In our work at Grameen Foundation we have embraced the ideas of the Learn Startup which to me means that as we build solutions we are constantly testing our guesses against the reality that our customers are experiencing. This means that as we receive data from our customers we are constantly asking ourselves, "should we pivot or persevere?" The problem with this paradigm is that it flies in the face of traditional funder reporting where specific targets are set as deliverables. This might work great for an existing model that has a proven track record but how do we deal with new models where the specifics of the targets are unclear? This article describes a process called developmental evaluation (DE) which is specifically designed to help entrepreneurs use real-time evaluation insights to help refine the work.
Article Excerpt: The philanthropic sector has been experimenting with innovative grantmaking in the hopes of triggering significant and sustainable change. FSG’s latest research report, collaboratively written with the Center for Evaluation Innovation, challenges grantmakers to explore the use of Developmental Evaluation when evaluating complex, dynamic, and emergent initiatives.