Evaluation can be a powerful tool to inform decision-making and tell us whether our collective work to improve health is having the impact we’re aiming for. The Health Fund strives to achieve tangible outcomes and lasting impact for Michigan residents, and we know the best measure of success is through the successes of our grant partners. To that end, we integrate evaluation and evaluative thinking into all of our work at the Health Fund, collaborating closely with our grantees to measure success and build evaluation capacity.
For more information about evaluation at the Health Fund, grantees should contact their program officer.
Evaluation is a priority across the Health Fund’s grant portfolio, but we do not require formal evaluation plans from grantees or applicants. Instead, we tailor our approach to our each of our five grantmaking programs and the needs of those grantees.
However, we strongly encourage our partners to use evaluation tools and principles of evaluative thinking as they design projects and draft proposals, as well as throughout their own organizational development.
Our evaluation work reflects the following principles:
- Be collaborative. The evaluation ecosystem includes grant partners, other funders, community members, policymakers, and the evaluation field—and we all learn more when we work together. At the Health Fund, we engage grantees and other partners from planning through dissemination.
- Tell the story. It’s important to understand not only what’s working but why (or why not), and to translate those lessons for practitioners and decisionmakers. To give our evaluation efforts a life beyond reports, we seek to share timely, accessible, and compelling stories with partners, peers, and policymakers.
- Be accountable. Through evaluation, we assess the effectiveness of our grantmaking against our mission and strategic plan. We aim to use evaluation results to become more effective funders and partners.
- Inform policymaking. We work closely with program officers to design evaluation projects that can inform structural change, influence health policy, and transform health delivery.
- Value multiple perspectives. Michigan is a diverse state, and evaluation is a varied practice. We tailor our approach to the needs of a particular community or project, drawing on a variety of measurement methods and strategies rather than a specific template or tool.
- Embed equity. Our evaluation work is in the service of broader work to reduce systemic health disparities and address root causes of poor health. We acknowledge the ways in which traditional evaluation practices have not and do not adequately address equity. We’re working to advance, explore, and implement more equitable evaluation principles.
At the Health Fund, we measure our own impact through the impact of our grant partners. To that end, we want to ensure our partners are equipped to conduct robust, meaningful evaluation efforts. In 2019, we partnered with the evaluation firm Equal Measure to develop an evaluation capacity building (ECB) plan. This plan aims to align grantmaking activities with the Health Fund’s mission of improving health outcomes.
If you have questions, please contact Megan Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know that our grant partners often need to work with external consultants to effectively evaluate their programs, but choosing a consultant can be overwhelming. To help with this process, we’ve prepared a current listing of qualified consultants available to provide evaluation services to health-oriented organizations in Michigan.