Transformative Evaluation in Impact Investing

Between June 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019, EWB completed an in-depth research project on the use of transformative evaluation (TE) in impact investing. The goal of the research was to investigate the potential for TE to solve some of the data challenges faced at the seed-stage, and to learn what TE could potentially offer the impact investing sector. The project included two main components: 

  1. A pilot TE and subsequent metaevaluation with one of EWB’s seed-stage investees, M-Shule. The pilot provided EWB a first-hand experience with TE, and the metaevaluation helped unpack the learnings from the experience. 
  2. A sector-wide survey and stakeholder interviews with investors, entrepreneurs, intermediaries, consultants, evaluators, and networks regarding their perceptions of the opportunities and challenges with TE in impact investing. 

Three publications were produced as part of the project, and are publicly available for download below. The case study provides a detailed description of how the TE pilot was implemented with M-Shule, lessons learned, and tips for other practitioners who are interested in applying TE. The sector report provides an in-depth description of the results of the metaevaluation, survey, and interviews, and provides a discussion and conclusion section with the main learnings from the project, and suggested next steps. Finally, the toolkit provides a step-by-step guide for investors and entrepreneurs to apply TE throughout an investment or business process, examples, and further resources. We hope the publications will be used by others in the impact investing sector to deepen impact measurement and management efforts, and to centre the work around social justice. 

This research project was supported by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) at the Aspen Institute. 

Case Study

This case study provides a detailed description of how EWB implemented a transformative evaluation pilot with M-Shule, a social enterprise in Kenya. The case study includes each step of the implementation, lessons learned, and tips for other practitioners who are interested in applying TE. 

View the Case Study

Report

This report provides an in-depth description of the results of a project exploring the application of transformative evaluation to impact investing. It includes an executive summary, description of data collection methods (metaevaluation, survey, and interviews), key results, a discussion of the main research findings, and next steps for the research.

View the Report

Toolkit

This toolkit provides a step-by-step guide for investors and entrepreneurs to apply transformative evaluation throughout an investment or business process. The toolkit also includes examples of transformative evaluation principles applied to various investment and business stages, and further resources. 

View the Toolkit

Contact

Engineers Without Borders Canada

info@ewb.ca

+1 416-481-3696

www.ewb.ca

 

For research and evaluation questions:

Courtney Bolinson

Principal Investigator

M-Shule transformative evaluation project

courtneybolinson@ewb.ca

www.courtneybolinson.com

 

These materials were developed by Engineers Without Borders Canada in collaboration with Courtney Bolinson.

Other resources

More information on the ANDE Project

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