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Assessing Systems Change: A Funders’ Workshop Report

October 31, 2019

As part of our Scaling Solutions Toward Shifting Systems Initiative, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) and the Initiative’s Steering Group members hosted a 3-day residential program in August to improve understanding and practices in monitoring and evaluating systems change. The 30+ participants hailed from eight countries, and included several leading philanthropic organizations such as Robert Bosch Stiftung, Skoll Foundation, V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, and Ford Foundation, among others.

In an effort to tackle the challenge of monitoring and evaluating in a way that is consistent with the scale and complexity of the world’s most pressing problems, key experts including Margaret (Meg) Hargreaves, Glenn Page, and Zenda Ofir created and led this rich learning experience. The workshop was focused on three key themes:

  • Seeing systems change, which includes the gravity of using systems thinking and implementing a systems oriented approach within their own contexts.
  • Facilitating systems change through exploration of the many ways systems can be changed.
  • Assessing systems change and reinforcing the importance of assessing complex situations to better understand how to intervene.

As the participants concluded their days together with a new, more complex way of thinking, they recognized the importance of not only going deeper as a community of practice, but also of helping others to benefit from their discussion and learnings. This follow-up report seeks to do just that: to bring others along by giving readers the opportunity to retroactively participate in the workshop while gaining insight into how to apply these lessons organizationally.

Read the full report here.

For more information on Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Scaling Solutions Initiative, please contact Heather Grady, Vice President, at [email protected].

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