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Learning through uncertainty

In the face of rising need and existential threat to many sectors and services, the decision that each foundation makes about how best to use its relative financial stability has never felt more important. And to be the best that they can be, foundations need to be thoughtful and reflective. Which is why learning is critical: balancing data with intuition; combining evidence with instinct.

 

IVAR is facilitating online sessions of the Evaluation Roundtable Community of Practice for foundation staff leading on evaluation and learning. Their ideas on how to put learning at the heart of foundations’ responses to Covid-19 can be found here. 

 

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The question is “what can we do better”, not “what is the right answer”. Then we can try out multiple ‘better’ things quickly and back the ones that work.

 

Blogs

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14 October 2020

Making ‘relational’ real: Our experience of funding during Covid

Hazel Robertson | Knowledge and Learning Officer - The Robertson Trust


The first in our new series of blogs about learning from funding during Covid, Hazel Robertson reflects on The Robertson Trust's experience of funding during Covid.



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Ben

03 September 2020

Joined at the hip: Why you can’t make good grants without investing in learning

Ben Cairns


Learning within trusts and foundations is critical: balancing data with intuition; combining evidence with instinct. Here are four things evaluation and learning staff have shared, through the Evaluation Roundtable Community of Practice, that help make sense of how learning informs decision-making.



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Briefings

Front cover image COP Briefing 3

Briefing papers:

More data is not the answer

Ben Cairns, Houda Davis, Liz Firth


This briefing shares the experiences of the 20 staff participating in our Evaluation Roundtable Community of Practice sessions during September 2020 and our reflections on the questions and opportunities for funders that they raise.

Acting in uncertainty front cover image

Briefing papers:

Acting in uncertainty

Ben Cairns, Houda Davis, Liz Firth, Chris Mills


This briefing shares the experiences of the 20 staff participating in our Evaluation Roundtable Community of Practice sessions during June 2020 and our reflections on the questions and opportunities for funders that they raise.

Piecing the story together - cover

Briefing papers:

Piecing a story together

Ben Cairns, Houda Davis, Liz Firth


Covid-19 is changing the funding world like nothing before it. This briefing shares how evaluation and learning staff are supporting their foundations through the immediate crisis and with questions about what all this means for the future.

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