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Ontario Nonprofit Network;
When grantmakers ask the organizations they fund about their evaluation plans, they are typically motivated by a desire to achieve the greatest impact possible through their investment. They often hope to help the organizations they fund to do the same. However, these conversations sometimes veer off track, especially when nonprofits feel pressure to produce evaluation results that align with funders' preconceived ideas. Evaluation can turn into a tool for accountability and risk management rather than a tool for learning. One way to prevent this dynamic from developing is to make sure that grantmakers and grant recipients talk with one another about why they are interested in evaluating a particular project before they get into discussions of what should be measured and how data collection tools should be used.
This guide explores strategies that grantmakers can use to lay the groundwork for meaningful evaluation by focusing on learning rather than measurement early in the grant application process. We begin by defining what a learning culture or learning organization means and why it is important. Then, we discuss some of the key elements of learning organizations. Lastly, we outline some principles for grantmakers to help guide the development of a learning relationship with future grant recipients.
Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for death and disability, but its overall association with health remains complex given the possible protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption on some conditions. With our comprehensive approach to health accounting within the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016, we generated improved estimates of alcohol use and alcohol-attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 195 locations from 1990 to 2016, for both sexes and for 5-year age groups between the ages of 15 years and 95 years and older.
Columbia University Center for Public Research and Leadership;
This paper synthesizes the existing research on improvement networks in education and on how such networks can facilitate meaningful improvements in teaching and learning and ultimately in student outcomes. The paper's findings are drawn primarily from a critical literature review of empirical studies on education improvement networks, as well as from interviews with experts in the fields of professional networks and learning. By focusing on the networks most aligned to the NSI model, the paper is designed to provide a knowledge base for a formative evaluationof the NSI strategy, which BMGF has engaged the Columbia University Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) to conduct over the next two years.
In 2017, Elrha's Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) launched a Challenge 'to understand how to design, implement, and evaluate approaches to user-centred sanitation that incorporate rapid community engagement and are appropriate for the first stage of rapid-onset emergencies' (defined as the first twelve weeks post crisis). A component of this Challenge involved undertaking a landscape review of existing community engagement practice and approaches that could be used to provide a background resource for Challenge participants. The review was carried out by Oxfam, the HIF's Research and Evaluation Partner for the project. It draws on published and grey literature and interviews with 15 key informants.
The State of Global Grantmaking Giving by U.S. Foundations is the latest report in a decades-long collaboration between Foundation Center and The Council on Foundations and aims to help funders and civil society organizations better navigate the giving landscape as they work to effect change around the world. The analysis reveals that global giving by U.S. foundations increased by 29% from 2011 to 2015, reaching an all-time high of $9.3 billion in 2015. In addition to a detailed analysis of trends by issue area, geographic region, population group, and donor strategy, this analysis also relates these trends to key events and developments, including the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the spread of Ebola in West Africa, and the increasing legal restrictions faced by civil society in countries around the world.
As human activities increasingly threaten biodiversity, areas devoid of intense human impacts are vital refugia. These wilderness areas contain high genetic diversity, unique functional traits, and endemic species; maintain high levels of ecological and evolutionary connectivity; and may be well placed to resist and recover from the impacts of climate change. On land, rapid declines in wilderness have led to urgent calls for its protection. In contrast, little is known about the extent and protection of marine wilderness. Here we systematically map marine wilderness globally by identifying areas that have both very little impact (lowest 10%) from 15 anthropogenic stressors and also a very low combined cumulative impact from these stressors. We discover that ∼13% of the ocean meets this definition of global wilderness, with most being located in the high seas. Recognizing that human influence differs across ocean regions, we repeat the analysis within each of the 16 ocean realms. Realm-specific wilderness extent varies considerably, with >16 million km2 (8.6%) in the Warm Indo-Pacific, down to
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS);
Coral reefs provide ecosystem goods and services for millions of people in the tropics, but reef conditions are declining worldwide. Effective solutions to the crisis facing coral reefs depend in part on understanding the context under which different types of conservation benefits can be maximized. Our global analysis of nearly 1,800 tropical reefs reveals how the intensity of human impacts in the surrounding seascape, measured as a function of human population size and accessibility to reefs ("gravity"), diminishes the effectiveness of marine reserves at sustaining reef fish biomass and the presence of top predators, even where compliance with reserve rules is high. Critically, fish biomass in high-compliance marine reserves located where human impacts were intensive tended to be less than a quarter that of reserves where human impacts were low. Similarly, the probability of encountering top predators on reefs with high human impacts was close to zero, even in high-compliance marine reserves. However, we find that the relative difference between openly fished sites and reserves (what we refer to as conservation gains) are highest for fish biomass (excluding predators) where human impacts are moderate and for top predators where human impacts are low. Our results illustrate critical ecological trade-offs in meeting key conservation objectives: reserves placed where there are moderate-to-high human impacts can provide substantial conservation gains for fish biomass, yet they are unlikely to support key ecosystem functions like higher-order predation, which is more prevalent in reserve locations with low human impacts.
Lebanon hosts approximately 1.5 million Syrians who have fled the war in their country since 2011. Funding for assistance for refugees and refugee-affected populations in Lebanon is declining sharply across all sectors. As of January 2018, only 9% of the year's WASH sector appeal had been secured. Unless more funding is secured there will be substantial reductions in WASH services for refugee communities.
This report is an analysis of impacts and risks of reduced and limited WASH funding on Syrian refugees in informal tented settlements in Bekaa, Lebanon.
Syrian refugees living in informal tented settlements in Lebanon are in a difficult position, being last in line for public water and other unregulated water sources. Humanitarian aid agencies have been delivering water by trucks, and while this has ensured Syrians have adequate non-contaminated water, it has come at a financial and environmental cost. Water sources are being depleted and aid agencies are spending considerable sums to provide a service that is not sustainable.
This study looks at the obstacles to providing more sustainable solutions: extending piped public water to settlements, focusing on the financial, social and legal feasibility requirements. A multi-level governance approach is recommended to address water supply to all affected communities.
This analysis looks at unpaid care work patterns in both Rohingya and host communities in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The aim is to recognize the care work done by women and find ways of reducing or redistributing this work. The analysis examines the level of acceptance for sharing care responsibilities, as well as the differences in care work between host and Rohingya communities. Overall, findings from the RCA show that the vast majority of care work is conducted by women across both groups. On average, women perform 70 hours of care work a week and men do 11 hours, with firewood and water collection being the most difficult tasks. Recommendations from the analysis include provision of water containers for water storage; opportunities for home-based income-generating activities for the Rohingya community; advocacy for improved water networks in the host community; and environmentally friendly firewood replacements, among others. This will ensure reduction and redistribution of care work and lead to improved programmes, with potential for women's empowerment.
The benefits of plastic are undeniable. The material is cheap, lightweight and easy to make. These qualities have led to a boom in the production of plastic over the past century. This trend will continue as global plastic production skyrockets over the next 10 to 15 years. We are already unable to cope with the amount of plastic waste we generate. Only a tiny fraction is recycled. About 13 million tonnes of plastic leak into our oceans every year, harming biodiversity, economies and, potentially, our own health. The world urgently needs to rethink the way we manufacture, use and manage plastic. This paper sets out the latest thinking on how we can achieve this. It looks at what governments, businesses and individuals can do to check the runaway production and consumption of plastic. It focuses particular attention on the burgeoning use of unnecessary plastics – the single-use items that make up a large amount of the waste we generate. The paper begins with an overview of the crisis. It goes on to explore the potential of alternative materials and sheds light on the effectiveness of current government legislation to cut down on single-use plastics. Ultimately, tackling one of the biggest environmental scourges of our time will require governments to regulate, businesses to innovate and individuals to act. This paper outlines the possible paths to a world free of plastic pollution.
The ocean has become a repository for an increasing quantity of plastics and microplastics. This has been matched, in recent years, by growing awareness of the social, economic and environmental impacts that this phenomenon is causing. There is widespread recognition that urgent action is required to reduce the leakage of plastics to the ocean, but that there is no simple solution. It is clear that the traditional linear production, use and disposal model for conventional plastics is not sustainable and results in unacceptable harm. This requires the development and implementation of more closed-loop, or circular, production models. But there is scope for assessing whether there are alternative solutions that minimise the use of conventional plastics for applications in which they are not essential. The purpose of this study was to assess the potential of replacing conventional plastics with alternative materials in certain applications, as part of a wider strategy of reducing marine plastic litter and microplastics. The target audience is governments and businesses. This may appear a daunting task, given the ubiquity of plastics in our daily lives, described in Chapter 2, so it seemed sensible to identify certain categories of plastics that may prove more amenable to reduction or replacement. Following an assessment of the most common items reported in field surveys (Chapter 3) it was decided to focus part of the study on 'single-use' plastic waste from single-use packaging and consumer products intended for short-term use, such as food and drink containers, given the preponderance of these categories in surveys of ocean plastics, especially in shoreline debris. Another common feature of microplastics identifed in surveys of biota, sediments and seawater is the abundance of micro-fbres. Micro-fibres on shorelines, especially near urban centres, consist mostly of textile fibres and this provided a second focus for the study.