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An update on monitoring, learning and evaluation

Oak Foundation / Foundation / Learnings

Photo by Elaine Casap from Unsplash

Are funder collaboratives valuable? What are we learning?

The value of collaboration is often assumed. To date, there is little research to understand when and where philanthropic collaboratives add value and little evidence on why these collaboratives fail. For this reason, Oak Foundation, under the leadership of the Environment Programme’s director, Leonardo Lacerda, has worked with a diverse steering committee of senior foundation leaders and evaluation experts to commission Bridgespan to undertake more research on this topic. The research focused on the following question: When and under what circumstances can funder collaboratives add greater value than funders moving forward alone? The research analysed a range of collaboratives, both national and international, across varied themes. The important gaps in knowledge and practice, key factors underlying high-impact collaboratives, and reasons for donor collaborative failure were identified in this research.

Evaluations underway in 2019

Every five years, Oak’s Environment Programme undertakes an external evaluation analysing the impact of investments during the five-year period and helping reframe the strategy for the future. Oak’s next five-year evaluation will be undertaken in 2020. Therefore, in 2019 the Environment Programme will be busy developing the key learning questions and terms of reference for this evaluation. In addition, the programme will also undertake a mid-term evaluation of its plastic campaign investments as well as an evaluation on its fossil fuel subsidies work in 2019. Oak’s Environment Programme will also collaborate with other funders to undertake organisational evaluations of the European Climate Foundation and Instituto Clima e Sociedade.