Applying transformative evaluation to seed-stage impact investing
What is Transformative Evaluation?
Transformative Evaluation is an approach to impact measurement that intentionally engages stakeholders, especially from marginalized groups, throughout the evaluation; it helps identify, understand, and reveal multiple, unique experiences with a product, or program.
Evaluation at EWB
EWB distinguishes itself in the international development field by addressing poverty through systems change. This means we care about whether we are having a sustainable impact on communities or not. If we aren’t impacting the communities we care about in a sustainable way, then we want to know how and why our programs aren’t working so we can improve them to achieve our goals. Evaluation and learning is a key part of understanding our current impact and using that information to make changes to our organizational strategy and program design.
EWB is focused on two key areas of evaluation: results-based monitoring of our Volunteer Cooperation Program project with Global Affairs Canada and social impact measurement of our impact investments.
The first — the results-based monitoring (RBM) evaluation plan for our Volunteer Cooperation Program project with Global Affairs Canada — includes the measurement of the results of our volunteer sending programs (Long-term and Junior Fellows), venture development and venture-driven innovation, sector-based innovations, leadership skills development (Kumvana Fellows), and mobilization of Canadians around international development.
Our second area of evaluation focuses on social impact measurement of our investments. Currently, we are piloting a transformative “Africa-made” evaluation in partnership with the African Evaluation Association, Donna Mertens, evaluation consultant Lucy Wakiaga, and social enterprise M-Shule to determine ways to deepen beneficiary voice in our social impact measurement process. This project was supported by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) at the Aspen Institute.
EWB’s overall approach to evaluation involves mixed methods, triangulation of data, and retrospective and longitudinal data collection. We are currently in the process of developing core evaluation principles that are aligned with EWB’s Core Values to guide evaluation work across the organization.